Chicago Fire entertain Cincinnati at Soldier Field in Major League Soccer on Saturday (March 18).
The hosts are among the few teams to have played two games, while others have played three. They were held to a 1-1 draw at home by New York City before losing to Philadelphia Union 1-0 in their first away meeting, leaving them in 23rd spot in the standings with one points.
Chicago endured a dismal campaign last year, finishing 24th in the overall standings and failing to qualify for the playoffs. Top scorer Jhon Duran has left the outfit. Coach Ezra Hendrickson was able to keep his job amid reports of possible dismissal, but the former defender will come under scrutiny once again if results don’t improve.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, have played three games, winning twice and drawing once. That leaves them in fourth place with seven points – two behind the top spot. Manager Pat Noonan says that his side are as ambitious as ever this term. A few signings were made during the offseason, notably Matt Miazga from Premier League giants Chelsea.
The Orange and Blue finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and tenth in the overall points table last season, thanks in part to their two top scorers. Brandon Vazquez and Brenner were the league’s fourth and fifth top scorers last season, with 19 and 18 goals respectively. They’re expected to lead the team to new heights this term.
Chicago Fire vs Cincinnati Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- Both teams have won twice in their last five clashes, while one game has ended in a draw.
- Chicago have won once, drawn once and lost thrice in their last five games against Cincinnati at home.
- The hosts have won once and drawn four times in their last five home games.
- Cincinnati have won thrice, drawn once and lost once in their last five away outings.
- Chicago have won once, drawn twice and lost twice in their last five games, while Cincinnati have won twice, drawn once and lost twice in the same period.
- Form Guide – Chicago – L-D-W-L-D; Cincinnati – W-D-W-L-L.
Chicago Fire vs Cincinnati Prediction
The hosts have scored one goal – Fabian Herbers – who will miss the clash due to a card suspension. Manager Ezra Hendrickson will have to work something out.
Meanwhile, Obinna Nwobodo and three others have scored once apiece for the visitors. Vazquez and Brenner are under pressure to open their account. Cincinnati come in as the favourites based on their better recent form and quality.
Prediction: Chicago Fire 1-2 Cincinnati
Chicago Fire vs Cincinnati Betting Tips
Tip 1: Result – Cincinnati
Tip 2: Game to have over 2.5 goals – Yes
Tip 3: Cincinnati to score first – Yes