FC Cincinnati will try to consolidate their lead in the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference when they host Chicago Fire at TQL Stadium on Saturday.
The hosts moved eight points clear at the top of the division after 15 games with a 3-1 victory away at New York City FC last time out, while their visitors are 12th in the Eastern Conference after back-to-back draws.
FC Cincinnati has had an eye-catching start to the new season after reaching the Conference semi-finals before falling out of the MLS playoffs last season, as they currently have the highest points tally across either division with a healthy lead at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Pat Noonan's team has 36 points from 15 league games so far, with 11 victories and only one defeat, albeit a 5-1 thumping away at St Louis City in mid-April after a quick start.
They've recovered nearly flawlessly since then, winning six of their previous seven MLS games and drawing the other, and they enter into the weekend on the back of five straight victories, first defeating DC United, CF Montreal, and Columbus Crew at home in May.
Meanwhile, their opponents have had a far slower start to the MLS season, with only three wins from their first 15 games, despite only losing four of those.
After a 3-0 loss at Nashville SC in early May left the Fire with 11 points from 10 games, manager Ezra Hendrickson was fired, and interim manager Frank Klopas was able to start his tenure on a positive note. The Fire returned to winning ways at home against St Louis City, with Rafael Czichos' first-half goal the difference between the sides.
The Fire will be looking to end their winless streak with a surprise victory on Saturday, after most recently travelling to Toronto FC and playing out a goalless draw, and currently lying 12th with a three-point gap up to the top nine.
Here GOAL brings you everything you need to know about how to watch, including TV channel, streaming details and more.
Cincinnati vs Chicago Fire kick-off time
|Date:||Jun 3, 2023|
|Kick-off time:||7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT|
Cincinnati and Chicago Fire face off on Jun 3 at TQL Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm Eastern Time (ET), or 4:30 pm Pacific Time (PT).
How to watch Cincinnati vs Chicago Fire online - TV channels & live streams
|Apple TV||Watch here|
The game will not be broadcast live on TV but will be available to stream live online through Apple TV MLS Season Pass.
Team news & squads
Cincinnati team news
Kenneth Vermeer has missed the majority of the season due to injury and is expected to miss out yet again. Luciano Acosta has been in fine form in front of the goal and has been the club's top scorer with five goals to his name.
Cincinnati possible XI: Celentano; Hagglund, Miazga, Mosquera; Gaddis, Nwobodo, Moreno, Barreal; Acosta, Santos, Vazquez.
|Defenders||Hagglund, Miazga, Mosquera, Arias, Powell, Murphy, Gaddis|
|Midfielders||Moreno, Nwobodo, Barreal, Acosta, Kubo, Angulo|
|Forwards||Vazquez, Santos, Brenner, Ordonez, Badji|
Chicago team news
Jairo Torres, Victor Bezerra and Federico Navarro will once again be unavailable for selection this weekend due to injuries. Kei Kamara is expected to start up front with Brian Gutierrez on the left wing in place of Chris Mueller.
Chicago Fire possible XI: Brady; Souquet, Teran, Pineda, M Navarro; F Navarro, Gimenez; Herbers, Shaqiri, Gutierrez; Kamara
|Defenders||Souquet, Czichos, M. Navarro, Ornsberg, Teran, Dean, Burks, Reynolds|
|Midfielders||Haile-Selassie, Gutierrez, Herbers, Gimenez, Oregel, Casas, Pineda, A. Rodriguez, Torres, Shaqiri|
|Forwards||Kamara, M. Rodriguez, Mueller|
Over the course of their last five matches, Cincinnati and Chicago Fire have recorded two wins each and one draw which came in the form of a 3-3 stalemate earlier this season.