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Massive Predictions: Crew vs Chicago Fire

Do the Black & Gold keep the good feelings going against an old rival?

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Chicago Fire Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Major League Soccer season is quickly coming to a close. Columbus Crew SC has five games left, including Saturday’s matchup against the Chicago Fire.

Both of these teams sit on the outside of the MLS Cup playoff picture. The Fire currently sit on 33 points through 29 matches, while the Crew is three points back after playing the same number of matches and seven points behind the final playoff spot.

The two old Eastern Conference rivals met just over a month and a half ago. A 2-2 draw, that saw Columbus come from behind twice, was the beginning of the Black & Gold’s unbeaten run that stretched six games before a 1-0 loss to New York City FC last Wednesday. But a 3-1 victory against in-state rivals FC Cincinnati on the road in the Hell is Real Derby was a nice rebound last Sunday.

This game at MAPFRE Stadium will have a lot of pride on the line. Can the Crew get another three points in this one? Let’s see what our staff thinks.

Patrick Murphy

While the Crew has quickly become one of the hottest teams in MLS as the group got healthy and added some pieces, the Fire has been rather inconsistent over that same stretch. Since the 2-2 draw with the Black & Gold back in mid-July, Chicago is 3-3-1 and squandered almost any chance of making the postseason.

While it hasn’t been perfect for Columbus, especially defensively, of late, this team is starting to play better and really showed how they want to play last week against FC Cincinnati. I think this is a sign of things to come and will be a similar performance on Saturday with a solid three points against the Fire.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Chicago Fire 0

Mike Crosky

Chicago is an abysmal 1-10-3 on the road this season, which is the worst away record in all of Major League Soccer. Columbus is seemingly finding their rhythm, having only lost once in their last 8 matches. Chicago has been inconsistent to say the least in recent times. Columbus should be riding the momentum of soundly defeating their newest rival, FC Cincinnati. Is this the match that Eloy Room finally earns a shutout? An 89th minute goal last week prevented the goalkeeper from his first Black & Gold clean sheet. I am going to be hopeful and say, yes. Crew win 2-0.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Chicago Fire 0

Nick Hudak

Saturday marks the fifth-to-last game of the 2019 Major League Soccer season for the Crew. The team will host a Chicago Fire team who is in the exact same spot as the Black & Gold: on the outside looking in hoping to make a late push for a playoff spot. Only one spot in the standings and three points separate the two sides.

While I prematurely said a couple of games ago that it was do or die for Columbus, it certainly is now with so few games left on the table. The team trails Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact by seven points, so a win on Saturday is absolutely needed. If not, Crew fans can start looking forward to the 2020 season. With three wins in the previous five games, Chicago will be no easy opponent for Columbus. The Fire does, however, have only one away win on the season, so I think the Crew can take care of business and continue its playoff hopes.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Chicago Fire 1

Tyler Fisher

Hell was definitely real last week as the Black & Gold defeated FC Cincinnati 3-1. This week, the attention turns to another rival in the Chicago Fire. Columbus is back at home in front of its home fans, who will certainly do their best to power lift the club to a win, and hopefully move up in the standings. But Chicago is a force to be reckoned with. With Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nemanja Nikolic on the forefront of the Fire, Columbus will have to stay on its toes in order to get a win, and cope with yet another long grocery shopping list of injuries. There won’t be much coming out of this game, so I’m expecting a draw.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Chicago Fire 2

Jay Homan

The matchup between the Crew and the Fire in July still stands out as a turning point in the season. You could feel the momentum begin to shift as Romario Williams and Luis Diaz took to the pitch for the first time in black and gold. Their energy and pace immediately impacted the game and helped secure the draw.

Little did we know that the match would be the first of a six-game unbeaten streak. We will now see how far the Crew has come in the last month and a half. There is no doubt that Columbus is more in sync than the team has been in months. The first half dismantling of FC Cincinnati last week proved that. I expect the same this week. Chicago has been inconsistent at best. Even with all of the team’s star power, the Fire has only been able to tie together a three-game unbeaten streak all season. I am predicting Crew fans will finally get the best of both worlds this week. A multiple-goal game and a well-deserved clean sheet from Eloy Room and the backline.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Chicago Fire 0

Collin Johnson

The Crew return to MAPFRE Stadium a week removed from a thorough trouncing of the team’s new rival to play a de facto playoff game against an old rival. Every match for Columbus has been a must-win for a few months now, and despite drawing many of those matches, the Black & Gold still cling to incredibly distant playoff dreams. The Fire, aside from a win against the Philadelphia Union, has been its same old, dull self through much of the season. The Crew used a game in Bridgeview to kick off its current run of form, so hopefully the rematch in Columbus sees the team build on its solid play as of late.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Chicago Fire 0

How do you think the Crew will do against the Fire? Let us know in the comment section below.