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Clear Skies Ahead: Chicago Red Stars vs Sky Blue FC, NWSL Week 12 Preview

Chicago Red Stars try to grow their win column this weekend against last place Sky Blue FC

Shaina Benhiyoun Photography

The Chicago Red Stars are back at home this weekend to take on the Sky Blue FC this Saturday.

The Red Stars are coming off a win over Orlando Pride last Sunday, and welcomed the return of Sam Kerr back to the club. Kerr scored a hat-trick in her first match back, and helped end the Red Stars goalless slump and three game losing streak. With Kerr back in the lineup, Chicago will look to start a new streak of wins as they go up against Sky Blue FC.

Where We Last Saw Them

The Red Stars last played Sky Blue FC back on September 4, 2018. The two teams played a match that was previously rescheduled due to Sky Blue FC being unable to travel based on weather related conditions. The Red Stars would go on to beat Sky Blue FC, 5-0, and clinch their playoff spot for 2018.

Starting Lineup We’d Like To See

Kerr is back with a vengeance. We’d like to see Chicago try and make a return to their 4-3-3 after reverting to their 4-4-2 during their brief losing streak. Katie Johnson and Savanna McCaskill came off the bench during Orlando, but we’d like former SBFC prospect McCaskill with a start. And we’d like to see a much earlier sub for Yuki Nagasto as she’s played several minutes for Chicago this season.

Keys To The Match

Stay Ruthless: Lots of former Sky Blue FC players in this one and now is not the time for sympathies. Sky Blue sit at the bottom of the table, no head coach, and searching for a win. Kerr has returned, and is still firing on all cylinders. Now is the time to make up points that were lost, go off.

Get in formation: During the Red Stars prior losses, we saw some long stretches of soccer that were not up to typical Chicago Way. Playing an additional match against a lower seeded team could help the Red Stars iron some things out in their connecting play. Strong midfield play could help the backline not have to cover as much ground as they have been as of late.

No Easy Points: It’s a mantra within NWSL, and still holds true even this weekend. Don’t want to play down to competition and be caught on the back foot.

Players To Watch

Chicago Red Stars: Of course Sam Kerr, hopefully Savannah McCaskill gets a chance to play against her old club too.

Sky Blue FC: Former rookie of the year Imani Dorsey only has one goal on the year so far but ability to penetrate and breakdown lines is something the Red Stars should watch out for.

Wild Prediction

For the love of all keepers, a shut out for Emily Boyd.

How To Watch

Kickoff: Saturday, July 6, at 7:00 p.m. CT in Bridgeview, IL at Seat Geek Stadium

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Stream: Yahoo Sports! NBC Sports App

Final Thoughts

Do you think the Red Stars make it two wins in a row? Do you think someone other than Sam Kerr scores in this match? Make sure you let us know in the comments below!