Our prediction for this MLS match:
Soldier Field will host Sunday’s MLS game between Chicago Fire and Toronto FC, the two teams who played out a boring goalless draw last month. Chicago Fire have been in a fine form of late, with the team beating both Nashville (1-0) and CF Montreal (3-0) at home ground and it is no wonder the bookies see them as favourites to beat the Reds. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who impressed in the last league match. The likes of Omsberg, Bezerra, Navarro, Javier Casas, and Chris Mueller remain in the recovery room.
The Canadians, on the other hand, suffered a dip in form, with the team losing each of their last five league matches. Even though goalkeeper Sean Johnson is back from international duty, we are tempted to put our money on the in-form hosts. To make things even worse for the away side, Federico Bernardeschi is banned for the Soldier Field clash.
Highlighted Player (Xherdan Shaqiri):
Another impressive player who emigrated to Switzerland, Xherdan Shaqiri is a midfielder with excellent technical qualities, very strong in taking players on and creating chances for his teammates, while also being a danger from set pieces. The Serbian-born footballer formed an excellent midfielder pairing with Granit Xhaka at FC Basel, before making a high-profile move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012.
Shaqiri went on to prove a great deal of potential at Allianz Arena, scoring 11 goals in 52 Bundesliga matches, but he decided to leave in search of first team football, first joining Inter Milan and then moving to Stoke City. It was at Britannia Stadium that the attacking midfielder rediscovered his form and if he continues playing at such a high level, it won’t be long before he returns to the biggest stage.
Even when he was not playing regularly at club level, Shaqiri would always reserve his best performances for the national team, as witnessed by 17 goals in first 50 caps. The midfielder was especially impressive at the 2014 World Cup finals, where he scored no fewer than three goals.
Highlighted Team (Toronto FC):
Toronto is a club based in Canada, but they have been competing in Major League Soccer since 2007. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment own both the soccer club and National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs. BMO Field is the club’s home ground and the capacity of the stadium is 30.000.
The Canadian outfit impressed in the 2016 MLS Cup and they faced Seattle Sounders in the title game at BMO Field. However, the Canadians were more than unfortunate not to lift the silverware as they were beaten by the Sounders on penalties.
Speaking of the Canadian Championship, Toronto FC won their fifth domestic title in 2016, with the team beating Vancouver Whitecaps in the final of the tournament. Montreal Impact are considered the club’s biggest rivals and there have always been fireworks in meetings between the two Canadian sides. Toronto FC’s home kit is red and it is no surprise they are nicknamed the Reds. It has to be noted that the club was founded back in 2005.