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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Toronto may struggle for early breakthrough

Chicago's dodgy defence tends to hold out for a while

Toronto's Sebastian Giovinco should be a goal threat
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Sky Sports Football, Midnight Saturday night

Chicago Fire were unable to put an end to their slump when they suffered a fourth successive MLS defeat against Toronto last week and they may not be able to gain revenge for the 2-1 loss they suffered when they head north.

The Fire's main problem has been their leaky defence - Orlando City are the only team to have conceded more than Chicago's tally of 43 goals - and as they have allowed their opponents to score at least twice in six of their last seven outings, it is an issue that has to be urgently addressed.

Toronto are favourites to claim another win and with striker Sebastian Giovinco having had more attempts on goal than any other MLS player, they should gain their fair share of chances.

But they will have to take them. Giovinco has had 99 attempts but found the net on just five occasions, so they are hardly sharp shooters and they are also prone to their own defensive lapses - they have kept just two clean sheets all season.

And before lumping on the Canadians at 1-2 it is worth remembering that their win over Chicago ended a run of seven matches without a success.

Both teams have scored in each of Chicago's last 12 matches and in seven of Toronto's last nine, so it is no surprise to see that eventuality priced at 8-13 while over 2.5 goals is even shorter at 4-9.

But while goals appear likely, it may take them a while to arrive. Just 12 of Toronto's 32 MLS goals this season have come in the first half and the Fire's dodgy defence have tended to hold out for a while.

The first goal Chicago have conceded in their last six matches came in the 47th, 27th, 31st, 28th, 36th and 22nd minutes and it could be that Toronto again find they are unable to make an early breakthrough.

First goal after the 22nd minute
2pts 10-11 Paddy Power

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Before lumping on the Canadians it is worth remembering that their win over Chicago ended a run of seven matches without a success
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