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Looking to extend home streak, Nashville hosts Chicago

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While Nashville SC remain tough to beat at home, the Chicago Fire continue to struggle on the road.

Winless on the road for well more than a year, the Fire look to keep Nashville from extending its home unbeaten streak to 11 games on Saturday night.

Nashville (4-1-7, 19 points) is 5-0-5 at home since losing 1-0 to FC Dallas in November 2020. That was only the second loss in 21 MLS home matches for the club. They are 4-0-5 at home this season and currently amid a 2-0-2 overall stretch there since falling at New York Red Bulls on June 18.

Nashville, though, looks for a more complete effort than the 2-2 draw it managed against Atlanta United FC, in the most recent contest July 8. Hany Mukhtar (four goals in 2021) had a goal with an assist as Nashville got behind in the fifth minute, but took a 2-1 lead in the 48th, only to concede the tying goal 10 minutes later.

Atlanta received a red card in the 74th minute, but even with the man advantage, Nashville was unable to record a game-winner.

“There are always aspects that we need to improve on,” defender Jalil Anibaba said. “We’re still undefeated at home. We know very well what we’re good at. We know what we need to improve on.”

Chicago (3-7-2, 11 points) simply must find a way to win on the road, where they have been outscored 8-1 while losing all four times in 2021. The Fire are 0-10-5 away from home over the past two seasons.

However, the Fire have had a run of success lately in games played at home, so they are not without confidence. They enter with nine goals and seven points from their last three contests, most recently a 3-1 triumph over Orlando on July 7.

Before the offense came alive in the past three games, Chicago had scored only four goals in their first nine games of the season.

“To get two wins in a row going into our next away game is big,” Fire goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth said. “We can keep that confidence and try to use that momentum (and) try to get points on the road.”

Boris Sekulic, who opened the scoring against Orlando with a stoppage-time goal near the end of the first half, tallied the Fire’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Nashville last season.

–Field Level Media

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