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New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena insists home-field advantage in the MLS Cup has always been his side’s big motivation, rather than setting any more records.

The Revs have won their last three games and are unbeaten in six ahead of Saturday’s home match against Chicago Fire FC at Gillette Stadium.

Arena’s men are well clear at the top of the Supporters’ Shield standings and are eight points away from breaking Los Angeles FC’s single-season MLS points record from 2009.

With five regular-season games remaining, Arena’s main focus is on simply ensuring his side have the best shot possible of winning a maiden MLS Cup.

“The points record is not a goal of ours, but if it falls into place that’s great,” he said. “The goal of ours has been to quality for the playoffs, to get a home-field advantage.

“And at that point, it was to try to finish first. We’re well aware of the fact that we’re in a race for the Supporters’ Shield and we’ll be conscious of that fact.

“But it’s not what drives us every day. The ultimate goal is being prepared for the playoffs. So that’s what our focus is right now.”

Chicago have little hope of nailing down a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as they are 13 points off the postseason cut-off point after losing 3-1 to Toronto FC last time out.

Frank Klopas is in interim charge of the Fire while they seek a permanent replacement for Raphael Wicky, and the ex-Montreal Impact boss is seeking a positive result at the in-form Revs.

“Every game we go in with the confidence we can get three points,” Klopas said.

“But also I’m looking at the future of the club and who are the players that are important as the club moves forward.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New England Revolution – Gustavo Bou

The Revs may be without some key players on Saturday as Matt Turner, Tajon Buchanan and Adam Buksa have all been away on international duty. Arena has plenty of squad depth, though, and in Bou he boasts a player who has been directly involved in 20 goals this term – only three players have a better record in MLS.

Chicago Fire FC – Robert Beric

Beric has been on the scoresheet in his last two appearances for the Fire, netting in the victory over New York City FC and the loss to Toronto two weeks ago. It marks the first time the Slovenian striker has scored in successive games in 2021, having done so on three separate occasions last season.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– The Revs are unbeaten in five straight meetings with the Fire (W3 D2), including a win and a draw this season. Including playoffs, it is New England’s longest-ever unbeaten run against the Fire in MLS play.

– New England have 65 points after 29 matches, the most by any team in MLS history at this stage of a season, one more than the LA Galaxy had in 1998. No team has collected more than 65 points in the first 30 games of a season in MLS history.

– Chicago have lost four straight away matches following their only road win since the start of the 2020 season (1-0 at NY Red Bulls on August 28). The Fire have just nine points on the road since the start of last season (W1 D6 L17) – only Austin FC (eight points), who joined the league this season, has fewer in that time.

– Both Bou and Buksa have scored 13 times this season, making it the first time in Revs history that two players have scored at least 13 times in the same season (including playoffs).

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