Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire Pick – MLS, August 20th, 2020
Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire clash at MAPFRE Stadium on Thursday, August 20, as the MLS regular season resumes. This is by no means the fiercest rivalry matchup of the week, but you can bet your bottom dollar that both teams will be desperate to claim the bragging rights.
Can Columbus extend their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference? Or will Chicago close the gap on the Black & Gold? After assessing the odds, I share my Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire prediction and betting pick.
Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire Betting Odds
After cruising through the MLS is Back Tournament group stage, it’s hardly surprising that Betway has made Columbus Crew the overwhelming favorite to win this game. Meanwhile, Chicago finished bottom of Group B, so Raphael Wicky’s side comes into this clash as the clear outsider.
There was very little to separate these two teams last year, with the Fire finishing just four points ahead of Columbus. But it feels like Caleb Porter’s men have got the upper hand this year.
Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire Preview
Columbus is one of only four unbeaten teams remaining in MLS in 2020. The Crew beat New York City and drew with Seattle Sounders before the regular season was suspended, while three group-stage wins at the MLS is Back Tournament mean the Black & Gold already boasts a four-point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Striker Gyasi Zardes has been the star of the show for Columbus lately, taking his tally to five goals for the season by netting four in Orlando. However, the team’s backline must also be given huge credit for their recent efforts. The Crew kept three consecutive clean sheets in the group stage, meaning they have only conceded two goals in their previous six competitive outings.
At the other end of the standings, Chicago is third from bottom after only managing to win one of their three group games. The Fire took just one point from a possible six before the shutdown, and the team failed to reach the knockout stages of the MLS is Back Tournament following defeats to San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Scoring goals has been the main problem for Wicky’s men this year. Chicago has fired a blank in each of their last two games, with new signing Robert Beric getting very little service in attack. If the Fire doesn’t start hitting the back of the net soon, it could turn out to be another disappointing campaign for the Illinois outfit.
Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire Prediction and Pick
Columbus Crew to Win1.83
Columbus was unlucky not to go deep into the MLS is Back Tournament. The team put together a perfect group-stage campaign but was knocked out on penalties in the Round of 16. Chicago has started the 2020 season in poor form, so I’m expecting Columbus to claim a comfortable victory on Thursday.