Scouting report: What to expect from Chicago in a rubber match at PPL Park

Union and Fire meet for second time in eight days

 

Two weeks, two matchups with Chicago.

The Union beat the Fire at Toyota Park 1-0 last weekend, courtesy of some great goalkeeping and a clutch strike from Jack McInerney.

The win improved Philadelphia's all-time record against Chicago to 4-3-1.

The Fire slipped to 2-6-1 and remain in a two-way tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Union lost 4-1 against Los Angeles on Wednesday night, but the Fire get a full week to rest up for this match. They had a couple of injury and illness issues last Saturday, and could be closer to full strength this time around.

Philadelphia is 2-1-0 against Chicago at PPL Park.

READCheck out the recap of the last meeting between the Union and Chicago

Fire Attack

Forward Sherjill MacDonald didn't play last weekend due to strep throat, which resulted in the forward pairing of Chris Rolfe and natural winger Patrick Nyarko. We might see that pairing again, according to an article on the Chicago website. Turns out, manager Frank Klopas was going to switch things up whether or not MacDonald was available.

Forward Maicon Santos got limited minutes in the second half, but to a hyperextended left knee. He's expected to play a bigger role this weekend.

We also saw the addition of Dilly Duka to the starting lineup, playing wide right in Nyarko's normal role. He was matched on the left flank by former Red Bull Joel Lindpere.

You'll also probably see Jeff Larentowicz return to the central midfield this weekend. He was suspended last week and replaced by Logan Pause. Daniel Paladini will likely partner Larentowicz on Saturday.

Fire Defense

Arne Friedrich isn't coming back anytime soon, which means the backline of Gonzalo Segares, Austin Berry, Jalil Anibaba, and Wells Thompson might feature again at PPL Park.

There's a chance Pause moves to right back with the return of Larentowicz in the midfield. That would send Thompson to the bench as defensive cover. We'll see what Klopas does with his defense .

There's also a chance that Hunter Jumper is healthy enough to make the gameday 18 and provide additional bench depth. He missed last week's game with a right groin strain.

Possible Starting XI: Johnson(GK), Segares, Berry, Anibaba, Pause, Paladini, Larentowicz, Lindpere, Duka, Rolfe, Nyarko

Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at k.kinkead@hotmail.com