MLS

St. Louis City v Chicago Fire: Carnell warns against complacency amid unbeaten run

By Sports Desk May 09, 2024

Bradley Carnell has warned his St. Louis City side they can't get comfortable despite a four-game unbeaten run.

Carnell's men last lost in March, since winning one and drawing three to leave St. Louis ninth in the Western Conference, just three points behind sixth-placed Austin FC.

As his team prepares to host the Chicago Fire this weekend, Carnell has cautioned his players not to become complacent.

"We can speak so many nice positives, especially with our three clean sheets in four and there are so many good moments," Carnell said.

"But I also don't want to get comfortable with that. I don't want to be used to getting draws. I don't want to hype up getting ties."

Carnell's side will look to extend their unbeaten run against a Fire team winless in four, currently 13th in the East after a poor start.

Chicago head coach Frank Klopas hopes his team don't lose faith, telling reporters: "Our focus is to continue to stay positive with the group.

"It's a process of evaluating and looking at how we can improve as a team, and then making sure once we analyse the games we look at certain things we did well and our mistakes to look to improve.

"It's a long season. I feel the team has been playing well, but we have to find a way to get points."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

St. Louis City – Joao Klauss

No St. Louis player has managed more MLS goal contributions than Klauss so far this term, scoring three and adding an assist. He will likely lead the line on Saturday and will hope to score the goals that start turning draws into wins.

Chicago Fire – Brian Gutierrez

Despite his team's poor collective start, 20-year-old midfielder Gutierrez has performed well and leads his team with three MLS goals so far this season, while also registering an assist. He will look to build on that and try to turn his side's fortunes around, starting this Saturday.

MATCH PREDICTION – ST. LOUIS WIN

St. Louis have kept clean sheets in three of their last four matches, including in the scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo last time out. St. Louis had managed just two clean sheets in their previous 23 matches in all competitions dating back to last July.

The Fire, meanwhile, have failed to score in four straight matches. This is the fifth time Chicago have gone four or more consecutive league matches without scoring since the start of the 2021 season.

Six of St. Louis City's last eight matches have ended in draws, but home advantage should be enough to see off a struggling Chicago team on Saturday.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

St. Louis: 55.5%

Chicago: 19%

Draw: 25.5%

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