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Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire: Match Preview, Starting XIs, Predictions and More

After a heart-stopping final minute in its season opener, Orlando City looks for its first win of the season against the Chicago Fire on Friday night. Antonio Nocerino is expected to make his Orlando debut as the Lions search for all three points against Chicago.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Even after scoring two stoppage-time goals to draw Real Salt Lake 2-2 on Sunday, it won't be hard for Orlando City (0-0-1, 1 point) to top its last performance.

Just get a win.

As the Lions welcome the Chicago Fire (0-1-0, 0 points) to the Citrus Bowl on Sunday, they'll be looking to collect three points for the first time this season. The Fire was the worst team in MLS a season ago, but Orlando won't be looking past this familiar opponent.

Orlando faced the Fire four times in 2015, picking up two wins against their Eastern Conference foes, while falling in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals and drawing Chicago in their final meeting of the season.

Antonio Nocerino will look to give his new club a boost, as the former AC Milan midfielder is expected to make his Orlando City debut on Friday. With several key players out with injury or suspension, the Italian won't exactly be eased into his new role.

But with a trip to Yankee Stadium to take on NYCFC and a match-up with MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers on the horizon, Orlando City needs a victory against the Fire.

Here's how they'll look to do it.

Projected Starting XI and Lineups
Orlando City vs Chicago Fire - Football tactics and formations
Orlando City:

The Lions will need to make a few changes in the midfield, with Kaká (injury) and Darwin Cerén (red card) out against the Fire. Luckily, the anticipated debut of Nocerino and the end of Cristian Higuita's suspension makes Adrian Heath's life a little easier. Nocerino and Higuita should slot into Orlando's three-man midfield alongside Pedro Ribeiro, as Servando Carrasco is benched to make room for the Italian international.

Meanwhile, Brek Shea looks set to play another game in the attacking midfield while Kaká recovers from his thigh strain. That means Luke Boden should get his second straight start at left back.

Chicago Fire:

The Fire made one of the more interesting coaching hires of the 2016 offseason, bringing U-20 World Cup winning manager Veljko Paunović to Chicago. The Serb has gotten creative in trying to rejuvenate a roster that was completely gutted after another last-place campaign.

With Gilberto (Chicago's newly minted DP) dealing with a calf strain, the Fire will likely pair Kennedy Igboananike and David Accam at the top of a 3-4-1-2, as Paunović looks to take advantage of the chemistry between his dynamic attacking duo. They showed flashes against NYCFC and will need to build on their partnership if Chicago hopes to get a result on Friday night.

Former trialist John Goossens had a breakout preseason and impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a roster spot in 2016. The Dutch midfielder was unable to play against NYCFC due to visa issues, but should slot into the midfield in the absence of Gilberto.

He's also the guy who did this:

Players to Watch:

They're probably not an opponent you have circled on the schedule, but the Chicago Fire brings two seriously underrated players into its match-up with Orlando City. And since they won't be playing on national TV much this season, Friday night will be one of your only chances to see what these guys can do.

I'm talking about David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike, the African duo that is the heart and soul of the Chicago Fire attack. With new signing Gilberto injured, Orlando will focus on stopping these two dangerous forwards, something they had limited success with in 2015.

Igboananike scored three times against Orlando City last season, including a brace in the Lions' U.S. Open Cup loss to the Fire.

He's joined up top by Ghanaian speedster Accam, who burst onto the scene in 2015 as one of Chicago's biggest designated player signings in years. "King David" was linked to several Bundesliga clubs after tearing up the Swedish league, but opted to move to Chicago at the age of 24.

He scored 10 league goals for the Fire a season ago, including one against Orlando in a 1-1 draw at the Citrus Bowl.

Prediction: Orlando City 2, Chicago Fire 1

Maybe I'm overconfident after nailing the outcome and score in last week's preview, but I think Orlando City gets the win this weekend. The Lions aren't ready to compete with the best MLS has to offer quite yet, but they should be able to handle one of the league's worst teams at home.

That doesn't mean there isn't cause for concern though.

This is a different team without Kaká and I expect plenty of the midfield turnovers and passes over the top, which plagued Orlando against RSL. It's unfair to expect an immediate impact from Nocerino, who hasn't even been stateside for two weeks and only has a few training sessions under his belt.

With its first-choice striker injured, look for Chicago to pack the box and hope that Igboananike or Accam can poach a goal against the Lions. While they should be able to nab at least one, I don't see how the Fire can hope to shut down the likes of Cyle Larin and Brek Shea for 90 minutes.

It could come down to the wire, but Orlando City should be able to grab its first win of the season on Friday night.