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Hate Week! Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew Preview

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It's the most wonderful time of the year TO RAMPAGE. The Fire will welcome their longtime rivals from Ohio to Toyota Park this weekend with a chance to add to the Crew's slow start.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Fire fans: Let the hate flow through you.

It's Hate Week, as the Fire welcome their longtime rivals Columbus Crew to Toyota Park this afternoon. Game time is at 4 p.m. on CSN Chicago Plus.

The mere thought of those Cleveland suburbanites coming to this fair city with their nasty urinal cake looking new jerseys have my hands shaking with rage, so this week's preview will be shorter.

The defending Eastern Conference Champions are reeling headed into this weekend, looking less than impressive in starting the season with two straight losses. The same big names that allowed the team to ran roughshod through the East last season, with MVP candidate and newly labeled Designated Players Kei Kamara continuing to reck havoc on defenders. Kamara's running buddy, Ethan Finlay, has struggled some since the season started (and really going back to his January call-up to the US Men's National Team), but Fire players can sleep on his skills at their own risk.

A week after playing the Lion-branded club down in Florida, the Fire hope not to wake a sleeping lion in the Crew. On paper, this Crew team should make quick work of most teams in this league. Fire players though should be filled not only with the excitement to win their first match this year, but to break a six-match winless streak against the Crew and to keep their rivals spiraling down the standings. With all that on the line, expect one things...

Also, predicting Fire keep the Crew in the loss column for 2016, and edge out a 3-2 victory at home.