Fresh off of a 1-0 win in Montreal on Wednesday, New York City FC will travel to Toyota Park to take on the Chicago Fire on Saturday night.
Both sides have enjoyed successful seasons thus far and will both feature in the playoffs. New York City FC are currently battling with Atlanta United for the second place in the Eastern Conference and a first round bye, but a win for Chicago on Saturday can put them right back in the mix.
New York City FC have enjoyed success against Chicago holding an impressive 3-1-2 record vs the club from the Windy City with their only loss coming in their inaugural season back in 2015.
The most recent of the meetings saw NYCFC pull out an impressive 2-1 win in Yankee Stadium which snapped Chicago's 11 match unbeaten run prior. The match was unforgettable as NYCFC played with 10 men for 78 minutes as a result of Yangel Herrera receiving his second yellow card of the match in the 12th minute. The game saw Jonathan Lewis pick up his first MLS start in which he delivered an excellent assist to the 2016 MLS MVP, David Villa minutes after the second half kicked off.
Following the David Villa goal, 10-man NYCFC quickly doubled their lead with a Frederic Brillant goal. Chicago cut the deficit in half minutes later with a goal from David Accam but couldn't find the back of the net a second time which resulted in NYCFC going home with all three points.
Chicago Fire: For the first time in a very long time, New York City will be the healthier team between them and their opponents as Chicago will be missing a lot of players.
Midfielder John Goossens was forced into right ankle injury back in March and has not retuned since. Veteran goalkeeper Jorge Bava will also be sidelined as he is recovering from surgery on his left elbow. Daniel Johnson, who featured in the last meeting between the two clubs will also miss the match as he suffered a left MCL injury and hasn't featured for the club since July.
Christian Dean suffered a fifth metatarsal fracture back in August is also listed as out and has no plans to play on Saturday. Another big miss for the club is Juninho. The Brazilian midfielder is battling a left knee injury and will not feature vs New York City.
Somebody who would be a bigger miss, and is listed as questionable, is Bastian Schweinsteiger. The World Cup winner is battling a right thigh injury and may or may not play vs NYCFC on Saturday. Last but not least, is Patrick Doody. The defender is listed as questionable with a left hamstring injury and like Bastian, may or may not play on Saturday.
New York City FC: The blue side of New York are just starting to remember what it's like to have a short injury list.
Ronald Matarrita, who went down last game on his return, is considered fully fit and can play on Saturday. Unfortunately, NYCFC will still be without three players.
The first, and probably most important is Maxime Chanot. The Luxembourg international underwent hernia surgery in late August and is hoping to return after the October break. Somebody who won't be returning, however, is Miguel Camargo. The Panamanian suffered an injury at this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup and will miss the remainder of the MLS season.
Finally, the homegrown boy. James Sands will miss the game against Chicago as he took a trip down to Dubai with the U.S U-17 team to prepare for the U-17 World Cup which will be taking place through most of October.
Following the match against NYCFC, Chicago will prepare to host the Philadelphia Union, and if they want any chance to catch NYCFC, they'll view both the NYCFC game, and the Union games as must wins. After that, Chicago will close out their regular season with a game at BBVA Compass Stadium as they take on a Houston Dynamo side who will likely be fired up as this game could determine if they'll be in the playoffs or not.
New York City FC on the other hand will have a pretty eased up schedule following the match in Chicago. First, they'll travel to Gillette Stadium to take on a struggling New England Revolution side which they'll hope to gain all three points from as they will continue to hold on to the first round playoff bye if they do so. Following that, they'll welcome Columbus Crew SC to Yankee Stadium to close out the season. This will be the first time in over a month that NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium and they'll be hoping to reward their fans with three points.