New York City Football Club Head Coach Ronny Deila has warned his side to be aware of Chicago Fire’s quality in the final third as they prepare to meet on Sunday.
The Fire faced off against Red Bulls midweek during a 3-3 draw in which they twice held the lead. An injury time goal from Patryk Klimala forced both teams to take a point home, and Deila was keen for his players to note the opposition's strengths ahead of the game at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a strong result, 3-3,” he said. “They should have won maybe when you see they were leading until the end of the game. They have quality – Xherdan Shaqiri is very good – they have other very good ball players in the team. Fullbacks that are coming forward. There’s a lot of quality in that squad. Now they look sharp and dangerous.
“I’ve said always in MLS you don’t meet teams that have given up or that are much worse in quality – everyone is very similar. It’s about having your day, being ready and prepared, and there’s a lot to plan for. We know who they are and what they do, but we also have to take out their weaknesses and get our positives in so we create enough chances to win the game.”
NYCFC will be without forward Taty Castellanos on Sunday due to suspension. That will open the door for one of Héber or Talles Magno to step in, with Deila admitting the selection decision is something he has wrestled with this week.
“I sleep with less because I want everybody to play,” Deila said. “I feel very bad to put people uot of the team or not be able to play both of them at the same time. This decision makes less sleep and a lot of thinking. It has to be the right decision when I think about my values and how I see things. It has to be fair and it’s also about what’s important in this game. How do I see the match and who will suit that best. It’s always tougher to pick the team when you have a lot of options, but it’s very good because you can change things during the game too.”