Inter Miami vs Orlando City: Preview and Prediction

Inter Miami will look to continue the unbeaten start to the 2024 season when they welcome Orlando City to the Chase Stadium on Saturday.

The 2024 Major League Soccer season continues with Matchday 2, with Saturday bringing us the most matches. The most eye-catching fixture will have Inter Miami hosting fellow Floridan outfit Orlando City at the Chase Stadium.

Inter Miami began the 2024 season with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake, with Lionel Messi running the show. But they left it too late to secure a point against LA Galaxy last weekend, with Messi scoring in injury time to cancel out Dejan Joveljic’s strike. However, playing an extra game means Gerardo Martino’s men are atop the Eastern Conference standings.

As for Orlando City, they are also unbeaten at the start of the 2024 season. The Lions have been busy in the early stages of the campaign, cruising to a 6-1 aggregate win over Cavalry FC in the CONCACAF Champions Cup first round while playing out a goalless stalemate against CF Montreal to kick-start their MLS journey this term.

Inter Miami and Orlando City clashed three times last season, with both sides clinching a 3-1 win while playing out a 1-1 draw in the third fixture. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Inter Miami

Gerardo Martino has several pressing injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Orlando City on Saturday, the Inter Miami manager will be bereft of the services of at least five first-team players.

Facundo Farias, Ian Fray, and Franco Negri are long-term absentees due to their respective ACL issues. Meanwhile, Benjamin Cremaschi is recovering from sports hernia surgery, while Robbie Robinson has some way before he regains fitness. Finally, Ryan Sailor might not be fit enough to feature on Saturday.

Drake Callender will take his spot between the sticks, with Inter Miami lining up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him against Orlando City. The defensive unit should feature DeAndre Yedlin, Tomas Aviles, Nicolas Freire, and Jordi Alba. The latter will be among the creative forces for the home side with his deliveries from the left flank.

As for the midfield unit, Sergio Busquets will marshall the troops in the middle of the park while looking to anchor the show. David Ruiz and Diego Gomez will accompany him in the middle of the park, while Federico Redondo should come off the bench to make his debut for Inter Miami.

Finally, Luis Suarez should spearhead the Inter Miami attack against Orlando City, with Lionel Messi and Leonardo Campana joining him in the final third. Messi will invariably pull the strings in the offensive third for the home side.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Callender; Yedlin, Aviles, Freire, Alba; Ruiz, Busquets, Gomez; Messi, Suarez, Campana

Orlando City

Unlike his counterpart in the Inter Miami dugout, Oscar Pareja does not have any issues to deal with ahead of the trip to the Chase Stadium. The Orlando City manager will have a full-strength squad on Saturday, with Rodrigo Schlegel serving his suspension.

Orlando City will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Inter Miami on Saturday, with Pedro Gallese taking his spot between the sticks. Dagur Dan Thorhallsson and Rafael Santos should be the two full-backs, with Schlegel and captain Robin Jansson pairing up at the heart of the defence.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Cesar Araujo and Wilder Cartagena in the double pivot. The duo will look to keep things tight in the middle of the park, especially aiming to neutralise Lionel Messi.

Ramiro Enrique should spearhead the Orlando City attack against Inter Miami, with Nicolas Lodeiro playing behind him. Facundo Torres and Ivan Angulo should join him in the final third, meaning Luis Muriel will be an option on the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gallese; Thorhallsson, Schlegel, Jansson, Santos; Araujo, Cartagena; Torres, Lodeiro, Angulo; Enrique

Key Stats

  • Inter Miami and Orlando City have clashed 13 times, with the latter leading the head-to-head record 6-4 (D3).
  • Eleven of the 13 clashes featuring Inter Miami and Orland City have had goals at both ends.
  • Four of Inter Miami’s last five games have produced less than three goals.
  • Five of the most recent seven clashes between Inter Miami and Orlando City have been level at half-time.
  • Lionel Messi is off to a bright start to the 2024 season, scoring once and providing one assist in two outings thus far.

Player to Watch

Luis Suarez

Embed from Getty Images

While Lionel Messi has looked brilliant in the first two games, Luis Suarez has not been at the races yet. The veteran striker has provided an assist in his two outings thus far. But after reuniting with Messi, he will know he can do much better.

It might be the case of the proverbial diesel engine taking time to warm up because there have been some promising signs. But as his legendary career winds down, the 37-year-old will be eager to bow out with a bang, with Inter Miami being his last club.


Inter Miami 2-1 Orlando City

Inter Miami might have struggled to topple LA Galaxy last weekend, but they looked imperious at home when they emerged victorious against Real Salt Lake. However, Orlando City will not make things easy for Inter Miami, considering the away side’s form in the early stages of the 2024 season.

While the Lions only managed a goalless stalemate in their MLS opener, they were highly productive in the CONCACAF Champions Cup against Cavalry FC. And after beating Inter Miami at the Chase Stadium last season, the visitors will likely fancy their chances. But ‘Messi magic’ will be on show this weekend, with the Argentine wizard guiding his team to a 2-1 win.

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