Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire FC: Blake Makes Sure He’s an Excellent Last Line of Defense

  • Philadelphia Union will take on Chicago Fire FC on Saturday, 13 August, 2022 at Subaru Park
  • Philadelphia Union’s 7-game unbeaten streak ended in their last match
  • Chicago Fire are on a 5-game unbeaten run, which includes four wins

Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire FC Odds

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Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire FC Saturday, 13 August at 7.30pm ET onwards
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Philadelphia Union
Chicago Fire
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Philadelphia Union
Chicago Fire
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Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire FC odds - Andre Blake

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Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire FC Pick

Philadelphia Union to win

Pick made on 08/11/2022 at 07:34 PM EST

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Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire FC Prediction

This is a massive game for Chicago Fire FC. For Philadelphia Union, it’s more a case of not letting complacency set in after coming to the end of their unbeaten streak in the last game. Chicago Fire FC have been in good form recently and it’ll be a massive blow to them if they drop points with the Eastern conference so tight at the moment.

It’s not just every point that counts at the moment. Every goal scored and conceded does as well because it could very easily go down to goal difference when it comes to playoff qualifications.

Chicago Fire will be well aware that they have a superior head to head, winning 15, losing 10 and drawing 7 in their 32 meetings so far. However, it’s hard to see past a Philadelphia Union win in this match.

Previous Meetings

Chicago Fire FC were victorious in the last meeting between the two sides back in June. They haven’t lost to Philadelphia Union in their last three meetings.

This was a difficult union for the Union, who were ill disciplined all game, receiving 4 yellow cards and with Jose Martinez being sent off for two yellows. Federico Navarro scored the only goal of the game in the 68th minute in a game they deserved to win, having had 57% of the possession and taking 14 shots compared to Union’s 6.

Philadelphia Union’s Unbeaten Streak Broken

FC Cincinnati broke Philadelphia Union’s 6-game unbeaten run, which included 7-0 and 6-0 victories, with an excellent second half display that saw them find the back of the net thrice. Union got one back in the 77th minute thanks to Paxten Aaronson but it wasn’t enough for them to hold onto their unbeaten run.

Despite the loss, Union lead the Eastern Conference table with 45 points. They’ve played one game more than New York City FC but have a goal difference of +23 compared to the latter’s +19.

Union Might Have the Most Fluid Attack in the League

Most sides have one player to rely on for the goals and Philadelphia Union have definitely relied quite heavily on Daniel Gazdag’s 11 goals and 5 assists to sit on top of the Eastern Conference standings but he’ll be the first to admit that it’s been a sublime team effort up front.

Julian Carranza and Mikel Uhre aren’t too far behind him, having also contributed to eight goals each. Carranza has even supplied five assists. Kai Wagner on the other hand has provided 11 assists. The best teams tend to redistribute their goals through many channels as opposed to having a heliocentric attack and this might go a long way to helping them go all the way this season.

Earlier in the season, the question mark around them was if they could score goals but with a 7-0 and 6-0 win in the recent past, those doubts have been put to bed.

No Team Has Conceded Fewer Goals

The team seems to be having the perfect balance at the moment. They’ve got attackers who gel well with each other, a midfield that works hard and the in-form goalkeeper in the league in Andre Blake.

It’s made them the hardest team to break down in the league. They’ve only conceded 18 goals so far, with the next best being 24 in the league. Part of this is thanks to Blake’s excellent shot-stopping but they’ve also got an expected goal against value of 26.9. Even if team’s find openings against, Blake makes sure he’s an excellent last line of defense.

They seem to have found the formula that every other team looks and even though they aren’t favorites to win the MLS Cup this year, it’ll take a valiant effort from any team to beat them.

Injuries and Suspensions

No injuries or suspensions.

Chicago Fire FC Keep Their Playoff Hopes Alive

Kacper Przybylko’s brace helped Chicago Fire FC win a thrilling 3-2 tie over fellow Estern conference side Charlotte FC. The win has given Chicago Fire FC a lot of momentum with 4 wins and a draw in their last 5 games in the MLS. They’re tied on points with 3 other teams but are within the playoffs spot at the moment because of a better goal difference.

They have to be wary of the New England Revolution, who are also on 30 points but have got a game to spare. The Eastern conference is extremely tight at the moment with only 5 points between the 5th team and the 12th team. The smallest of margins will count.

Still Lacking a Real Goal Threat

It’ll still take a massive over-performance from Chicago Fire FC to make it to the playoffs. Przybylko’s brace made him the highest goalscorer this season for the side but he’s only scored 5 so far. Xherdan Shaqiri has been a big boost, scoring himself but he’s mostly in the side for his creative output with 10 assists in this campaign so far.

Others will have to get on the end of the chances that he’s been trying to lay up for his teammates. They are on a good run of form at the moment, which will bring some optimism but it remains to be seen if this is going to be sustainable. A team like Philadelphia Union might well bring it all to a close.

The Defense Has Been Solid

Compared to most of the other sides in and around them, Chicago Fire FC haven’t had too many defensive issues. They’ve conceded 30 goals this season with an expected goals against value of 31.4. As long as they keep this up, they’ll likely have a decent goal difference, which might be decisive given how tight things are in the mid-table. Other than the New England Revolution, every team from 6th to 12th in the Eastern conference table has got a negative goal difference.

Chicago Fire FC’s -3 goal difference is the reason they’re in the playoff spots for the time being. Even if they don’t win their upcoming match against Philadelphia Union, they need to make sure it’s not by a big margin.

Injuries and Suspensions

Center-back Wyatt Omsberg has been out with a foot surgery since late June. No expected return date as of now.

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How to Watch Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire FC

Teams Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire FC
Location Subaru Park, Pennsylvania
Time Saturday, 13 August at 7.30pm ET onwards
How to watch ESPN+, DAZN, PHL17 and WGN-TV

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Varun Shetty WSN

Expert on Soccer

Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]  

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