Preview: New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire

New York Red Bulls will host 10th placed Chicago Fire this weekend as both sides look to get some points under their belts at this early stage in the season. The two teams’ last encounter came in last season’s MLS Cup play-offs, where Jesse Marsch and his side conquered Toyota Park, sending their opponents crashing out of the competition with a 4-0 scoreline. With Wright-Phillips, Royer, Kljestan and Veron notching on the night, the Red Bulls progressed into the Eastern Conference semi-final where they faced eventual winners Toronto.

This week’s hosts’ last match ended in a 3-1 pummelling of Rudi García’s Montreal Impact in front of a home crowd. The match opened up with a 5th minute strike from Bradley Wright-Phillips to put New York 1-0 up. However, in the 33rd minute, Jeisson Vargas levelled the score with a sublime free-kick that flew into the top corner, leaving Robles helpless. In the second-half, the home side came out with immense fire power, and thanks to goals from Romero Gamarra and Murillo, the side secured a 3-1 win. Maintaining their unbeaten start to the season at home.

Chicago Fire, on the other hand, have greatly under performed thus far. Currently sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference, the Fire have claimed just four points in their opening five matches in 2018. One draw and a win against Columbus Crew a fortnight ago. Last weekend Veljko Paunović side welcomed LA Galaxy and were defeated 1-0 after Zlatan Ibrahimović found the back of the net in first-half stoppage-time. While their lead man Nemanja Nikolić has been excellent this campaign, netting four goals already; a combination of injuries, new additions, and poor performances have left much to be desired in midfield and defence. It may be an area that improves over the course of the season, but looking to Saturday these seem like elements which New York should look to take advantage of in front of another home crowd.

Match Information

Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018

Kick-off: 15:30 (ET) | 20:30 (BST)

Venue: Red Bull Arena


Broadcasting: Univision (USA) | MLS Live (USA & Canada) | Twitter (international)

Previous Meetings

05/18/16: New York Red Bulls 1-0 Chicago Fire

06/31/16: Chicago Fire 2-2 New York Red Bulls

04/29/17: New York Red Bulls 2-1 Chicago Fire

09/09/17: Chicago Fire 1-1 New York Red Bulls

10/25/17: Chicago Fire 0-4 New York Red Bulls

Current Form

New York Red Bulls
Montreal Impact 3-1 (H) | 0-0 vs. Chivas Guadalajara (D) | 0-1 vs. Chivas Guadalajara (L) | 3-4 vs. Orlando City SC (L) | 3-0 vs. Minnesota United (W)

Chicago Fire
0-1 vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (L) | 1-0 vs. Columbus Crew (W) | 2-2 vs. Portland Timbers (D) | 1-2 vs. Minnesota United (L) | 3-4 vs. Sporting Kansas City (L)

Team News

New York Red Bulls

Injured: Kyle Duncan (torn right anterior cruciate ligament) | Connor Lade (ankle injury)

Chicago Fire

Injured: Djordje Mihailovic (right anterior cruciate ligament) | Michael de Leeuw (left anterior cruciate ligament) | Matt Polster (medial collateral ligament) | Luis Solignac (left quad injury) | Jorge Corrales (infection)

Predicted Line-ups

New York Red Bulls


Murillo – Long – Escobar – Lawrence

Adams – Rzatkowski

Royer – Romero Gamarra – Muyl


Chicago Fire


Vincent – Dean – Kappelhof – Ramos

Tchani – McCarty

Collier – Schweinsteiger – Katai


Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 4-2 Chicago Fire

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