Once again the MLS weekend begins on Friday night when the Chicago Fire play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps in what is actually a big match for both teams even this early in the fledgling campaign.
After the disappointment of last season I guess the Fire would have accepted a solid start but they have a good chance to build on that when they welcome the winless Whitecaps to the Windy City. We are reduced to the streams for viewing this one.
If Chicago are going to get back to the play-offs then their home form will be what gets them there so it is important that they have begun their campaign with a win and a draw in front of their own fans. They have the chance to pick up three more points here, which would leave them handily placed in the early Eastern Conference table.
Chicago should be pushing for the postseason because they have potent forwards and decent creativity to provide for them and enough savvy in defence that they shouldn’t be overloaded there too often. Ultimately it comes down to their home form being strong and then nicking the odd result here and there away from home. There aren’t seven better teams in the East than them on paper.
It has been a horrendous start to the campaign for the Vancouver Whitecaps. They are struggling to find the back of the net and generally look a level below where they have been over the last couple of years or so. We should recognise that some big players left the Canadian outfit in the close season, and most teams in the league would struggle to continue to challenge without those men, but I suspect the Whitecaps will have expected more from their first five matches.
Ultimately all they have to show for their efforts so far is a solitary point. To their credit that came against the Seattle Sounders and a point of them has been hard to come by this term, so that is probably a point gained on many. They have more than given it back with some of their other results either side of that though.
Chicago Fire are without a quintet of players of differing importance for this match. Raheem Edwards, Andre Reynolds II, Fabian Herbers, Przemyslaw Frankowski and Jorge Corrales are all sidelined through injury.
Vancouver are missing four players with injuries of their own. They are Michael Baldisimo, Andy Rose, Jasser Khmiri and David Norman Jr. Joaquin Ardaiz is expected to lead the line once again in this one.
Initially I was looking to get involved with the Chicago Fire here but they are much shorter than I expected them to be. I can’t really complain at that, I was more hoping to get a decent price on them as opposed to expecting it but it is still the case that there is no real value on them. I don’t really see anything but a Chicago win but whether they run up the score remains to be seen.
It is a big weekend of action though and there are plenty of betting opportunities to come later in the piece so there is no need to force anything. I’ll keep my money in my pocket here and hope to use it wisely when the better bets come along later in the weekend.