We have a great selection of mid-week fixtures in Major League Soccer to enjoy and one of the standout games is Portland Timbers vs Chicago Fire. Having made a decent start to the season, 2015 MLS Playoff winners Portland Timbers have been struggling of late. Their poor form has seen them fall 5 points adrift of Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City and Portland Timbers sit in third place heading into this round of games.
Chicago Fire make the trip to the Providence Park sitting top of the Eastern Conference, 2 points clear of second place Toronto FC. A win in this match would be a real signal of intent for Chicago Fire that they mean to go all the way this season.
Portland Timbers Form
Caleb Porter’s team have won only 2 of their last 11 MLS games and this is the reason they are currently adrift of the leaders in the Western Conference. Portland Timbers have failed to win any of their last 5 games and desperately need to get their season back on track.
Despite their overall poor form, Portland Timbers remain strong at home and are undefeated in their last 5 games at Providence Park. Furthermore, Portland Timbers have lost just 1 of their previous 14 home MLS games.
Chicago Fire Form
In contrast to their opponents, Chicago Fire have been in excellent form of late. They have won their last 4 MLS games, including a pair of 4-0 home wins against Orlando City and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Playing away from home, Chicago Fire are undefeated in their last 4 games, picking up 2 wins at DC United and New England Revolution. Prior to these 4 matches, Chicago Fire struggled to pick up points away from home, losing 8 of their previous 9 away MLS games and picking up just a single point.
Portland Timbers could be without several players due to injury for this match. Jack Barmby and Liam Ridgewell are expected to join Gbenga Arokoyo, Amobi Okugo and Diego Chara on the treatment table. There are also doubts over defender Chance Myers, therefore Porter will wait for as long as possible before naming his starting XI.
Chicago Fire could be without key midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has an undisclosed injury. They may also travel without midfielder John Goossens and goalkeeper Jorge Bava.
Top Betting Tips
Portland Timbers have a strong home record but have been struggling for form recently and Chicago Fire will not have a better chance of defeating them than Wednesday night. Chicago Fire are 11/5 with Ladbrokes to win the game.
However, Chicago Fire have failed to defeat Portland in their previous 7 MLS meetings, so if they are to take the win, it could be by the slenderest of margins. Chicago Fire to win the match by 1 goal is available at 4/1 with Ladbrokes.
Nemanja Nikolic is the man sitting top of the MLS goal scoring charts and the Chicago Fire striker has 15 goals in his last 14 games. The Hungarian can be backed at 5/1 with Ladbrokes to score the first goal of the match.