Match Preview: Philadelphia Union @ Chicago Fire Saturday 8/17/19 8:00 PM PHL17 ESPN+

After a sloppy but exciting 2-1 win at home in front of one of the most vociferous crowds this season, against the Houston Dynamo, the Philadelphia Union (13-7-6, 45 Pts, 1st Place Eastern Conference) go back on the road to visit the Chicago Fire (7-11-9, 10th Place).

Union/Chicago Fire Series History:

As noted in my preview from 7/20/19 , the two teams have played pretty evenly at 10-8-5, 37-34 in goals scored, but the U are just 3-6-3, 15-19 GF v GA, in Chicago. They did win their last trip there 4-3 in stoppage time on 7/11/18. The last match, played at Talen Energy Stadium on 7/20/19, was a 2-0 W.

Last Time Out:

Once again the Union get to face a team that are playing not on a full week’s rest, as the Fire lost 3-2 on the road to the Portland Timbers on 8/14.

As noted at the start, the U overcame some sloppy play at home to get the 2-1 W.

Chicago Fire Notes:

MF Alex Katai  who is the Fires best shooter from outside the box (4G) is on suspension after picking up a red card on Wednesday night. That puts more pressure on Ex-Union F. C. J. Sapong, still their top scorer with 10G.

Union Dues:

The Union are getting healthier by the week with only D Olivier Mbaizo (left knee soreness) and F Sergio Santos (left knee meniscus injury) listed as Q.

F Kacper Przybylko, has been on fire lately, leading the team with 11G, scoring in six out of the last nine matches, including the last two.

Phearless Phorecast:

The Fire are just 3 Pts below the red line, but have played one or two more matches than the teams ahead of them. They have also been good at home this season (6-2-6).

That being said, the Union have been decent on the road this year (5-5-3) and are looking to improve upon their play after the sloppy W at home. These are points they need to get to stay on top of the table, and home matches with the two teams right behind them DC United and Atlanta United FC looming to end August.

I will predict a Philadelphia Union 2-1 W.

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