Philadelphia Union missed out on the MLS Playoffs that season, and things aren’t looking overly good for them this year either. They are in a slightly improved position, but still sit three points adrift of the top six in the Eastern Conference and knowing they have to up their game if they are to make the post season.
Admittedly, Union have upped their game in recent weeks. Their goalless draw at New York Red Bull at the weekend extends their unbeaten streak to three games, following on from victories over the underperforming Real Salt Lake and Montreal Impact.
Prior to that they had won just one of their last eight games in the MLS though, and they are still very much in a vulnerable position. Defeat here could send them into another downward spiral and see them drop further off the pace.
Chicago Fire, having finished bottom in 2015 and 2016, put in a stellar performance last year and actually spent a lot of the campaign challenging for the Eastern Conference top spot. Sadly, their form dropped away towards the end of the year, but their 3rd place finish was still an excellent achievement given their prior performances.
This season, however, isn’t going so well. They lie just behind their opponents in the Eastern Conference table, although with just one point separating a victory would be enough to turn the tables. Historically, victories don’t come easily away from home for Chicago Fire though.
Thankfully, that historic fact is beginning to shift. Just over a year ago Chicago Fire beat DC United 1-0 away from home, and that was just their second away win in the MLS in an absurd three years. Things have drastically improved since then, and they come into this game having won two of their five away days this season.
In fact, the visitors have only lost two of these games and that includes trips to Columbus Crew, New York Red Bulls, and Toronto FC. Meanwhile, Philadelphia Union have failed to win three of their last five MLS home games. Still, the bookies have the hosts’ down as odds on favourites, which makes a Chicago Fire Win or Draw Double Chance look a very tempting offer along with a 1-1 correct score predictions.
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Chicago Fire have won three, drawn one, and lost two of their last seven meetings with Philadelphia Union, and Union have failed to win four of their ten hostings of Chicago Fire.
Defender Richie Marquez is still in recovery following his sports hernia surgery, whilst Joshua Yaro misses another game with concussion.
Chicago Fire remain without defender Matt Polster, midfield trio Djordje Mihailovic, Jon Bakero, and Dax McCarty, and strikers Michael de Leeuw and Elliot Collier. Forward Luis Solignac is a doubt with a quadricep injury too.