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Monday, 21 January, 2019

Victory could be hard won in Chicago

Fire are in a rut but Columbus no great shakes on the road

Bastian Schweinsteiger (right) is struggling to shine for Chicago
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Midnight Thursday

It's not easy making a case for Columbus on the road, but it’s not easy to suggest backing Chicago anywhere.

Composing arguments against these sides is a lot easier than finding grounds to back them.

Chicago are in a rut and coach Veljko Paunovic sounded like he was about to spontaneously combust after their last-gasp loss at Montreal.

"It always come to the same mistakes from the same people," he lamented. "We have to make some decisions."

If by decisions he means a player purge then surely Bastian Schweinsteiger, who gave away a penalty against the Impact and looks flawed at the heart of a back three, has to be feeling the heat.

The Fire have now lost eight in a row, haven't kept a clean sheet in 17 and have conceded at least two in eight of their last nine. Defensively, they are as close to a shambles as it comes with a mistake – generally a pretty big one – never far away.

Odds of 9-5 about the hosts would, therefore, seem suitably generous and barely worthy of acknowledgement – except that opponents Columbus are seriously weak travellers.

Beaten 1-0 in Chicago earlier in the season, the Crew have failed to score in eight of their last 11 away matches.

And interestingly, the road team have failed to win any of the last six showdowns between these clubs.

Ten of Chicago's last 11 MLS tussles have been won by one goal and punters should expect another tight one.

Winning margin one goal
1pt 7-5 Betway

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Ten of Chicago's last 11 MLS tussles have been won by one goal
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