Chicago will look to get back to winning ways when they host Atlanta United at Toyota Park on Wednesday.
In the last six league games, Chicago have failed to win even one. They have lost three and drawn three in that period. This run has resulted in their fall in the table. They are 10th in the Eastern Conference as it stands. Chicago are four points below Toronto who are in the last playoff spot. Both Orlando City and New England are also fighting to get into the playoffs with Chicago.
Chicago’s last win came in May when they defeated Minnesota United 2-0. Nicolas Gaitan and Aleksandar Katai scored the goals that day for Chicago. Since then, they have conceded 16 goals in the seven games they have played. That run has failed to yield a single clean sheet for the Fire. Coach Veljko Paunovic will be keen to end this winless run on Wednesday.
In their last game, Chicago were beaten 3-1 by the NY Red Bulls. Nemanja Nikolic’s goal in that game was nothing more than a consolation. Nikolic and C. J. Sapong are the joint top scorers for Chicago this season. Both of them have scored six goals so far in the MLS. Chicago have a favorable run of fixtures after playing Atlanta, as they will play the two bottom sides in the next two games. They will hope to pick up some wins to get into the top seven in the east.
They will face Atlanta, who are flying high at the moment. Atlanta are fourth in the east, despite having played fewer games than most around them. They are three points below leaders Philadelphia but have played two games less than them. If Atlanta win their games in hand, they can secure top spot in the east.
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Their recent form is promising as well. Atlanta have won five of the last six games in all competitions. Two of those were U. S. Open Cup games, which they won to progress to the quarter-finals. Atlanta will play Saint Louis FC in the quarter-final next week. Their last match was against Montreal Impact, who are just above in the table. Atlanta won 2-1 to move to a point within Montreal. Justin Meram scored a brace for Atlanta in that game.
Josef Martinez is Atlanta’s top scorer this season with 10 MLS goals. He was on Copa America duty with the Venezuela side, so Brandon Vazquez has filled for him in recent weeks. Martinez could make his return against Chicago after Venezuela were knocked out of the competition. His inclusion will be a big boost for Atlanta.
Chicago Fire vs Atalanta United Prediction
Atlanta will go into the match as overwhelming favorites. Chicago are on a poor run, and Atlanta should beat them to pile more misery upon them. Atlanta have the best defense in the conference, and a clean sheet is likely for them as well. The total goals should be less than 2.5 in the game.