Chicago Fire v. Houston Dynamo
Wednesday, October 31, 21:00 ET
Houston Face Chicago As MLS Playoffs Begin
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Soccer action has returned to Europe as the top leagues begun another exciting campaign this season, with the English Premiership and other top tier groups getting underway. Meanwhile, in the states, Major League Soccer action is heading to the playoffs, with eliminations games and a championship on the line.
In the eastern conference, the single-elimination game features the Chicago Fire and the Houston Dynamo, two clubs very familiar with one another who endured a tough end of the season to make it to the next round.
The two clubs finished fourth and fifth, but Chicago, with 17 wins and 57 points, closed the season with three more wins and four more points than the Houston Dynamo. The Fire missed third place where the New York Red Bulls finished also with 57 points, by goal differential, while Houston edged out Columbus by one point.
Chicago will get the home field advantage in this pivotal match, and it looks to help. They won 11 matches at home, with three, draws and just three losses on the year. They outscored their opponents by a 27-18 margin, but earned a draw and a loss in their final two home matches.
The Dynamo meanwhile, struggled on the road, earning the fifth position by great home play. They won just three times on the road this year, losing nine overall and scoring just 17 goals to their opponent’s 29.
They lost in their last match on the road to Colorado, however by that time they had already locked up their playoff spot. Still, the Dynamo have scored just three goals in their last five away games, with their only one road victory since the middle of March, when they started the year with two straight road victories. Moreover, that lone road win was against the Toronto FC, the worst team in the league.
The clubs face each other three times this year, with Houston drawing at home in a scoreless match, drawing on the road 1-1, and most recently, losing on the road 3-1.
Betting lines: At home, the Chicago Fire are the clear favourites and rightly so. The Dynamo have not shown they can play well away from home, and the Fire play with a clear home field advantage. This looks to be a low scoring game, but the Fire will come out on top, winning 1-0 and moving on.