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Chicago Fire v Atlanta United: ‘Think like champions’ urges Giakoumakis

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Apr 2024

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Atlanta United must “think like champions” if they are to correct their form, says striker Giorgos Giakoumakis.

The Five Stripes face the Chicago Fire this weekend, as they look to return to winning ways after three games without a victory.

Indeed, they lost to FC Cincinnati last time out, and Giakoumakis believes Atlanta must correct a mentality issue.

“One simple thing I can tell you is that we have to stay concentrated,” said Giakoumakis.

“Think like champions, because you cannot drop this amount of points when you are leading a game.”

Atlanta are seventh in the Eastern Conference, six places and two points better off than the Fire, who have lost two of their last four games.

“Number one, there are no easy matches in MLS,” said Atlanta coach Gonzalo Pineda. “It is always difficult to play in that stadium; sometimes it can be windy. They have very good players, and they have a very good coaching staff that prepares them to compete at the highest level.

“The process we have, we expect it to translate to three points. At times, you have to create certain situations on the field to spark a reaction, and some toughness or some resilience.

“That will bring more discussions and more accountability… as much as it hurt me and my coaching staff (losing five points), you can see it hurt them. They were not happy with that, and that is why I think they will have a good response against Chicago.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chicago Fire – Brian Gutierrez

Gutierrez is the Fire’s leading scorer this season, with three goals, which have come from five shots on target.

Atlanta United – Giorgos Giakoumakis

Giakoumakis has scored four goals in three career matches against Chicago, scoring at least once in each match. Four players have scored in their first four regular-season matches against the Fire, including just one, Cory Burke (five straight from 2018-21), since 2011.

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

Atlanta have won only four of their last 39 away matches in all competitions (D14 L21) dating back to early April 2022. The Five Stripes are winless in their last nine away from home (D4 L5).

Chicago’s 4-0 loss to Real Salt Lake last week equalled the largest margin of defeat in a home match in club history (4th time in all competitions). The Fire have lost six of their last 10 home matches in all competitions (W3 D1) after losing two of their previous 17 at home.

The home side is unbeaten in the last 11 meetings between the Fire and Atlanta United (W9 D2). In fact, the only road win in the 14 regular-season meetings was a 2-1 victory for Atlanta in Chicago in 2018.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Chicago Fire – 37.9%

Atlanta United – 33.3%

Draw – 28.8%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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