Game of the Week: Montreal Impact at Chicago Fire / by Drew Olsen

So why this game, you ask. Real Salt Lake is hosting Houston, and the Revs travel to play the Wiz, but I picked this game instead. Despite a negative goal differential, I like Chicago in this one. I smell upset. Our MLS tables tell me that Chicago ranks 5th in the league in attempts ratio at 1.07, earning nearly 10% more shot attempts than its opponents on average. When we account for where those shots are coming from, our shot location data suggests that Chicago's goal differential should be pretty even: -0.04 expected goal differential (xGD) per game if I regress finishing rates 100%. Basically Chicago is an average team with a little bad own-goals luck. However, as I've been preaching all year, Montreal's play is seemingly unsustainable, and it is playing on the road. Despite the most points per game in MLS, Montreal owns the third-worst attempts ratio in the league, and an expected goal differential of -0.20 goals per game. The Impact may very well be the second-best team on the pitch come Saturday.

Chicago Fire Shots Data

For Locations Goals GoalDistr SOGDistr OffDistr BlksDistr AttDistr Finish% ExpGoals
One 5 19.2% 6.9% 2.6% 2.9% 4.2% 41.7% 4.0
Two 16 61.5% 31.7% 31.3% 17.6% 28.2% 20.0% 14.3
Three 3 11.5% 19.8% 16.5% 20.6% 18.7% 5.7% 3.2
Four 1 3.8% 22.8% 19.1% 25.0% 21.8% 1.6% 2.8
Five 1 3.8% 18.8% 28.7% 33.8% 26.4% 1.3% 1.6
Six 0 0.0% 0.0% 1.7% 0.0% 0.7% 0.0% 0.1
Total 26 26.0
Against Locations Goals GoalDistr SOGDistr OffDistr BlksDistr AttDistr Finish% ExpGoals
One 8 29.6% 11.5% 9.4% 2.0% 8.6% 34.8% 7.7
Two 9 33.3% 26.4% 29.7% 15.7% 25.9% 13.0% 12.3
Three 6 22.2% 23.0% 14.8% 31.4% 20.7% 10.9% 3.3
Four 0 0.0% 13.8% 13.3% 21.6% 15.0% 0.0% 1.8
Five 3 11.1% 21.8% 32.0% 29.4% 28.2% 4.0% 1.6
Six 1 3.7% 3.4% 0.8% 0.0% 1.5% 25.0% 0.2
Total 27 26.9
Luck -0.1

Montreal Impact Shots Data

For Locations Goals GoalDistr SOGDistr OffDistr BlksDistr AttDistr Finish% ExpGoals
One 4 12.1% 5.6% 1.1% 1.5% 3.0% 50.0% 2.7
Two 18 54.5% 30.6% 33.3% 25.4% 30.2% 22.5% 14.3
Three 5 15.2% 25.9% 18.9% 10.4% 19.6% 9.6% 3.1
Four 4 12.1% 18.5% 15.6% 23.9% 18.9% 8.0% 2.3
Five 2 6.1% 19.4% 31.1% 38.8% 28.3% 2.7% 1.6
Six 0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0
Total 33 23.9
Against Locations Goals GoalDistr SOGDistr OffDistr BlksDistr AttDistr Finish% ExpGoals
One 4 12.9% 5.9% 2.8% 2.9% 3.8% 33.3% 4.0
Two 15 48.4% 39.6% 32.4% 10.3% 29.9% 16.0% 16.7
Three 5 16.1% 14.9% 9.0% 11.8% 11.5% 13.9% 2.2
Four 6 19.4% 19.8% 13.8% 26.5% 18.5% 10.3% 2.7
Five 0 0.0% 18.8% 39.3% 45.6% 34.1% 0.0% 2.2
Six 1 3.2% 1.0% 2.8% 2.9% 2.2% 14.3% 0.3
Total 31 28.1
Luck 6.2