Philadelphia Union visit Chicago Fire at end of three-game week

The Philadelphia Union end a run of three games in seven days with the start of another arduous stretch of matches.

Philadelphia's visit to the Chicago Fire on Saturday is the first of five road games in the next six, a run that lasts until the end of July.

Saturday's match can be heard on Fox Sports The Gambler. The Union Pregame Show presented by DraftKings Sportsbook begins at 7:30 p.m. ET with Jon Jansen and Joe Tansey. J.P. Dellacamera and Danny Higginbotham will be on the game call at 8 p.m. ET. Kevin Kinkead joins Jansen and Tansey on the postgame show immediately after the final whistle.

The Union are a slight favorite on the money line at +143. Chicago is a +165 underdog. A draw pays out at +270.

Philadelphia's last trip to Soldier Field resulted in a 2-0 victory on May 8. Cory Burke and Jakob Glesnes scored a goal each in the second half to clinch three points.

Burke's play on the right side of the field strung out Chicago's defense and opened up plenty of space in the middle of the penalty area.

Burke and Kacper Przybylko could start for the second straight game as a forward pairing, or Union manager Jim Curtin could use one of the forward spots as one of three or four positions that gets rotated.

Typically, the Union make a maximum of four changes for any game because the analytics suggest a significant drop off in performance when more are made.

Most of the alterations should be made in midfield. Alejandro Bedoya is questionable with a calf injury that he suffered in Wednesday's win over the Columbus Crew. Curtin confirmed on Thursday that Bedoya would be good to go for the trip to Chicago.

Jack McGlynn, who made his first start in Chicago, could appear again on the left side of the 4-4-2 midfield diamond, but his inexperience could limit what Kai Wagner does moving forward from left back.

Matt Real may be better suited for that role on the road since he is a natural defender and has a good understanding of when to go forward, or when to drop back and defend to let Wagner surge ahead.

McGlynn could also end up on the right side of the diamond if Bedoya is not available to go 90 minutes. Curtin could give himself the luxury of keeping Bedoya on the bench since the Fire are the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

Real may also start at left back in place of Wagner. Each member of the back four needs a bit of rest after taking on a heavy workload in the opening few months of the campaign.

Stuart Findlay could be utilized at center back in relief of Jack Elliott and Jakob Glenses. However, the two center backs are playing at a Defender of the Year rate and Curtin may be obliged to keep them in the starting lineup to avoid a potential slip-up.

The Union's center backs could make life even more difficult for the Fire attack that has not scored in the last three league matches. Chicago was shut out by CF Montreal, Columbus and FC Cincinnati.

Chicago is in the middle of a four-game home stand, but finding points from those games could be tough with Atlanta United and Orlando City following the Union into Soldier Field.

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