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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Chicago Fire

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Will the Fire play spoiler again for Dallas?

MLS: Sporting KC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas return home after their heavily rotated thumping in Seattle, Chicago head to Frisco after managing a 1-0 win at home over Sporting Kansas City.

Old Ghosts

Chicago is one of the worst teams in the league this year, but that has become more terrifying for Dallas than playing the big boys. Dallas have a poor record against the bottom 4 teams in MLS with a total of 1W-2L-2D. Chicago has also beaten Dallas two years straight, despite being awful in both of those seasons as well. Will the combination of being bottom, and having Dallas number, see Chicago past the league leaders.

Potential Lineup

Chicago has an injury free roster to choose from this weekend.

GK: Sean Johnson; LB: Brandon Vincent; CB: Johan Kappelhof, Jonathan Campbell; RB: Rodrigo Ramos; CM: Khaly Thiam, Michael Stephens, Joao Meira; RW: John Goossens; LW: David Accam; FW: Kennedy Igboananike.

Key Matchup

Matt Hedges vs. David Accam. FC Dallas is consistently lost without Hedges in the back four, as was apparent on Wednesday night. It is important for Dallas to bounce back with a solid defensive display and Chicago’s biggest threat is Ghanaian forward David Accam. Accam is quick and can be lethal, so it is imperative to shut him out of this game. Hedges and Zimmerman will have to combat his speed all night long.

Keys to Three Points

No Funny Business.

From massive lineup switches to silly penalties and red cards, Wednesday night was Dallas’ dumbest game of the season. Everything that could go wrong, did. Dallas needs to step back from that loss and play a simple game. Chicago is one of the worst teams in the league. If Dallas plays smart, simple football they should win.

Home and Away.

Dallas are undefeated at home and have made Toyota Stadium into a fortress this year. Meanwhile, Chicago are absolutely lost on the road with six losses and two draws. On paper a home win seems likely here, but Dallas need to give the proper respect to their opponents and play until the whistle on Saturday.

Take Advantage of Fresh Legs.

Dallas rested the first team in Seattle. That failed on Wednesday, but it needs to pay dividends in the next few fixtures. If Dallas don’t secure points at home this weekend, than that fiasco on Wednesday was a potential three points thrown away for nothing. Make it count boys.

Prediction

Chicago are a bit of a bogeyman, and bottom teams love to beat us, plus Chicago haven’t won on the road in over 2 years and Dallas loves to break a streak. I won’t be shocked if we lose this game.

My Prediction: 1-0 Chicago… I pray I’m wrong.