Atlanta United vs Chicago Fire: What you need to know

Posted on Jun 9 2017 - 10:32am by Jared Halus

It’s that time of the week again – the day before a match when we analyze Atlanta United’s next victim

The Basics:

  • When: Saturday, June 10th – 4pm
  • Where: Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Illinois
  • Watch: UniMas, Facebook Live (Univision Deportes)
  • Referees: Alan Kelly, Jeffrey Greeson, Anthony Vasoli, Hilario Grajeda

A week ago, Atlanta United’s good run of form came to an end in a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Atlanta United scored just 7 minutes into the game but was never able to find the back of the net again.

Tomorrow, the Five Stripes will face the Chicago Fire for the second time this season. It’s been 83 days since the two sides met in Bobby Dodd Stadium, and it was all Atlanta the first time around. Led by a brace from Josef Martinez, Atlanta United played one of their best games of the season and dominated the Chicago Fire. Though the men in red didn’t have Bastian Schweinsteiger and had to play with 1o men throughout the majority of the game, Atlanta United looked unstoppable en route to a 4-0 win.

That being said, the difference between the last time these two squads faced off is night and day.

Atlanta United (5-5-3)

When Chicago came to Atlanta on March 18th, they suffered at the hands of Atlanta’s beloved Venezuelan striker, Josef Martinez. It was the last match that Josef would play before a quad injury has sidelined him for quite some time – but the wait should finally be over. “There’s a good chance he’ll participate. We don’t know as a starter or if he’ll come off the bench yet” said Tata Martino.

Atlanta United will likely be missing their leading scorer for the majority of the match, though. In the midst of the World Cup Qualifiers, Miguel Almiron and Kenwyne Jones are both on international duty throughout the week for their respective teams. Though they are not 100% ruled out for tomorrow’s match, it is uncertain what kind of role they’ll be playing.

Though Atlanta United leads the MLS in scoring with 28 goals, they haven’t really looked like themselves on the road as of late. Of eight games this season as the away side, United has only been able to get two wins.

Chicago Fire (7-3-4)

Though the team looked to be in need of serious help following their first match against the Five Stripes, they have made quite the turnaround. The Men in Red are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points in 14 matches, which is already just six points shy of their season total in 2016.

A couple players have broken out for Chicago Fire. Obviously, World Cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger has the potential to better the form of any team he plays for. However, Nemanja Nikolic has been the headliner for the Chicago Fire. His brilliant run of form in the month of May earned him MLS player of the month and put him in the lead for goals scored in the entire league with 11 goals.

One thing that hasn’t changed is Chicago’s ability to score goals. Aside from Nikolic, the team as a whole is 6th in the East in goals per game at 1.64. That being said, they back it up with their second ranked defense who allows just 1.14 goals per game.

The Chicago Fire are unbeaten in 10 straight home matches, so the Five Stripes have a serious challenge ahead of them tomorrow. Pretty much everything has changed between the two squads, so the outcome of tomorrow’s match is pretty unpredictable, but one thing is for sure – I can’t wait.

 

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