Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union – MLS, May 8, 2021

By Ben Morris in MLS
| May 6, 2021 7:21 am PDT

Philadelphia booked their spot in the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Atlanta United in midweek. Next up, Jim Curtin’s men return to MLS action – facing Chicago at Soldier Field on Saturday, May 8.

Funnily enough, both the Fire and the Union have only managed to claim one point from a possible nine this season. While it isn’t surprising to see Chicago struggling, nobody expected the reining Supporters’ Shield champions to be winless after three games.

Can Philly pick up their first MLS win of the season this weekend? After assessing the odds, I will give my Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union prediction and pick.

Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union Odds

Chicago Fire to Win2.15
The Draw3.50
Philadelphia Union to Win3.20

I can’t quite figure out what the bookmakers were thinking when they were pricing up this game.

Granted, Chicago will benefit slightly from the home-field advantage on Saturday – and the U hasn’t exactly started the 2021 season in a convincing fashion. But there is no denying that Philly should beat the Fire.

Let’s take a closer look at the teams and try to make sense of the Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union odds.

Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union Preview

Chicago kicked off their campaign with an impressive 2-2 draw against New England. The Fire dominated the Revs for large spells of the game, while goals from Robert Beric and Luka Stojanovic handed the Illinois outfit a well-deserved point.

But since then, Raphael Wicky’s men have recorded a couple of poor losses.

Although Stojanovic managed to double his tally for the season in Georgia, the Fire was completely outclassed in a 3-1 defeat to Atlanta. Having faced a barrage of 18 shots, Chicago could easily have conceded more.

Wicky’s men gave a better account of themselves against the Red Bulls last weekend, but they could not prevent a 2-0 loss in New York.

As things stand, only last-place FC Cincinnati has conceded more goals than Chicago in the Eastern Conference. If the Fire wants to improve on last season’s eleventh-place finish, they will need to tighten things up defensively.

It is evident that Philadelphia’s CONCACAF Champions League campaign is having a negative impact on the club’s early-season form in Major League Soccer.

A 5-0 thrashing of Deportivo Saprissa, along with the recent triumph over Atlanta, has seen Curtin’s men book their place in the last four with ease. For all their promise in the CCL, they have struggled to get their domestic season up and running thus far.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with securing a goalless draw against Columbus on the opening weekend. But losing to Inter Miami (2-1) and New York City FC (2-0) wasn’t part of the plan.

Kacper Przybylko has netted five goals in four CCL appearances this year, but he has yet to open his MLS account for 2021. That said, I’m sure it won’t be too long before the prolific striker gets going on home soil.

Given that Jamiro Monteiro has bagged three goals and two assists in six matches this year, it feels as though Curtin’s men aren’t far away from sealing their first MLS win of the season.

My Fire vs. Union Pick

Pick
  • Philadelphia Union to Win
    3.20

Having analyzed both teams, I recommend jumping on the juicy price for the away win before the bookies change their mind.

We all know that Philly has endured a tough start to the 2021 MLS campaign, but we also know what the 2020 Supporters’ Shield champions are capable of, right?

In my eyes, Saturday’s trip to Chicago provides the Union with an ideal opportunity to chalk up their first MLS win of the year.

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