Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire – MLS, June 19, 2021
Having made a shaky start to the season, Columbus appears to be moving in the right direction. Back-to-back wins prior to the recent break saw the defending MLS Cup champions climb to sixth in the Eastern Conference – seven points ahead of second-bottom Chicago.
Unfortunately for the Fire, they are heading in the opposite direction to the Crew. Not only have Raphael Wicky’s men recorded just one win in their opening seven games, but they are also the lowest scorers in the entire league.
The two sides meet in Ohio on Saturday, June 19. After assessing the odds and analyzing the teams, I will give my Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire prediction and betting pick.
Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire Odds
The betting sites haven’t sprung any surprises with their odds for this matchup. As expected, Columbus (1.83) is the obvious favorite to claim all three points, leaving Chicago (4.40) as the rank outsider.
Still, before we settle on a Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire prediction, we need to take a closer look at both sides.
Will Columbus Seal Three Straight Wins?
When Caleb Porter’s men managed only to win one of their opening five matches this year, question marks were raised over their title-defending credentials. However, the Ohio outfit quickly made amends for their iffy start to the campaign.
Following back-to-back losses at the hands of Toronto and New England, the Crew secured two consecutive victories – beating New York City before getting revenge on TFC.
That said, the team has struggled for goals. Only two clubs in the East have netted fewer goals than the Crew this season, so guys like Gyasi Zardes, Pedro Santos, and Bradley Wright-Phillips will need to up their game.
Porter can’t ask for much more from Lucas Zelarayan, though. The Argentine DP has bagged four goals and two assists in all competitions this year, including two stunning free-kicks against NYCFC.
You Have to Fear the Worst for Chicago
Wicky’s men have some serious work to do with just a single win to their name in 2021.
A promising 2-2 draw with New England on the opening weekend of the season suggested that Chicago may be able to improve on last year’s unsuccessful campaign. But four straight defeats quickly put an end to the Fire fans’ hope.
Chicago’s sole victory this term came against Inter Miami last month. However, the Illinois club returned to losing ways last time out – going down to Montreal.
Wicky’s men have failed to score in four of their last five outings, so it is hardly surprising that they are currently the lowest scorers in MLS.
If the Fire want to get anything from Saturday’s clash, Luka Stojanovic will need to be at his very best. The Serbian attacking midfielder scored three of his team’s four goals this season.
My Betting Pick for Crew vs. Chicago
Columbus Crew to Win1.83
Considering the circumstances, the odds of 1.83 for the Columbus win feel somewhat generous. After all, Chicago has been toothless in attack throughout the campaign and has only managed to register one win in 2021.
Even if the defending MLS Cup champions are not at 100% on Saturday, they should still dispatch struggling Chicago without any real problems.