Inter Miami vs CF Montreal: Preview and Prediction

Inter Miami will aim to continue the unbeaten start to the MLS season when they welcome CF Montreal to the Chase Stadium on Sunday.

Matchday 3 of the 2024 MLS season continues on Sunday, bringing us some eye-catching games. The latest round of fixtures will end at the Chase Stadium, where Eastern Conference leaders Inter Miami will host CF Montreal, with both teams unbeaten at the start of their league campaigns.

Inter Miami looked solid towards the end of the 2023 season, with Lionel Messi’s arrival, along with Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, galvanising the group. Luis Suarez’s addition to the squad has taken them to the next level.

But while the Herons are unbeaten after four matches in all competitions, they are not yet in full flow, especially at the back, playing out a 2-2 draw against Nashville SC in the round of 16 of the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Nevertheless, Gerardo Martino’s men are sitting atop the Eastern Conference table.

As for CF Montreal, they are also unbeaten in the MLS thus far this term. Le CFM began the 2024 campaign with a goalless draw at Orlando City SC before beating FC Dallas 2-1 last weekend. Sunday’s match will be their third successive away league game at the start of the season, with their first home outing coming midway through April.

The corresponding fixture last season saw Inter Miami beating CF Montreal 2-0, with Serhiy Kryvtsov and Shanyder Borgelin finding the back of the net. 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 new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against CF Montreal on Sunday, the Inter Miami manager might be bereft of the services of seven first-team players.

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi might be the latest absentees, with the duo reportedly being doubtful to feature against CF Montreal. While Suarez does not have an issue per se, Martino might rest him after starting every game thus far this term.

Meanwhile, the MLS Status Report for Matchday 4 has listed Messi’s issue as a shin complaint. But Ian Fray (knee), Franco Negri (knee), Benjamin Cremaschi (sports hernia), Facundo Farias (knee), and Robbie Robinson (match fitness) remain unavailable due to their respective problems.

However, Jordi Alba should return after missing the CONCACAF Champions Cup clash with Nashville SC because of illness. Meanwhile, the Inter Miami squad has overseen a few changes, as they traded DeAndre Yedlin to FC Cincinnati, while Jean Mota has joined Esporte Clube Vitoria.

Messi’s fitness concern means Inter Miami will likely line up in a 3-5-2 formation against CF Montreal, with Leonardo Campana and Suarez pairing up in the final third. So, Robert Taylor and Messi should appear off the bench as impact substitutes before featuring in the starting eleven against Nashville SC in the midweek cup game.

Drake Callender will take his spot between the sticks, with Serhiy Kryvtsov, Tomas Aviles, and Nicolas Freire being the three centre-backs. Julian Gressel and Jordi Alba should be the two wing-backs, with the duo providing the width in the final third. Finally, David Ruiz, Sergio Busquets, and Diego Gomez will be the three midfielders, with the latter providing the creative impetus.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Callender; Aviles, Kryvtsov, Freire; Gressel, Ruiz, Busquets, Gomez, Alba; Campana, Suarez

CF Montreal

Like his counterpart in the Inter Miami dugout, Laurent Courtois has a few pressing concerns to deal with ahead of the trip to the Chase Stadium. The CF Montreal manager might be without six first-team players on Sunday.

Robert Orri Thorkelsson (groin), Mahala Opoku (ankle), and Lassi Lappalainen (groin) are in the treatment room and will not feature on Sunday. Meanwhile, Courtois is sweating over the fitness of Dominic Iankov (hamstring), George Campbell (groin), and Joaquin Sosa (leg).

CF Montreal should line up in a 3-4-2-1 formation against Inter Miami, with Jonathan Sirois taking his spot between the sticks. George Campbell should start if he is fit, joining Joel Waterman and Gabriele Corbo in the backline. Fernando Alvarez will deputise for Campbell if he cannot feature from the get-go.

Ruan and Ariel Lassiter should be the two wing-backs, with the duo providing the width in the final third. Mathieu Choiniere and captain Samuel Piette will pair up in the midfield, looking to keep things tight in the middle of the park. Josef Martinez and Jules-Anthony Vilsaint will start after scoring off the bench in the win over FC Dallas, with Bryce Duke joining them in the attack.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Sirois; Campbell, Waterman, Corbo; Ruan, Piette, Choiniere, Lassiter; Duke, Vilsaint; Martinez

Key Stats

  • Inter Miami and CF Montreal have locked horns eight times thus far, with the Canadian outfit having a superior head-to-head record with five wins (D1 L2). The Herons won the most recent home game against Le CFM, clinching a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Serhiy Kryvtsov and Shanyder Borgelin.
  • Inter Miami can match their longest unbeaten run in the 2023 MLS season (four games) if they do not lose to CF Montreal on Sunday.
  • Both Inter Miami and CF Montreal are unbeaten at the start of the 2024 season, with the two teams playing out a draw each in the MLS thus far.
  • Inter Miami have kept a clean sheet in their two home games this season, scoring seven goals without reply thus far.
  • Former Inter Miami striker Josef Martinez scored the match-winning goal in his first CF Montreal outing against FC Dallas.

Player to Watch

Luis Suarez

Embed from Getty Images

Suarez has finally come to the party at Inter Miami with his goalscoring exploits. The veteran Uruguayan striker has now found the back of the net thrice in his last two outings. And he has seemingly taken to football in the US like fish to water as he looks to end his career on a high.

The 37-year-old has an excellent tally of three goals and four assists in four appearances for Inter Miami. So, while the experienced attacker has rediscovered his scoring boots, his playmaking abilities are shining even more. Suarez’s form will be key for Inter Miami this weekend and the rest of the 2024 season as they look for top contributors beyond Lionel Messi.


Inter Miami 1-0 CF Montreal

Inter Miami might have looked vulnerable at the back in the 2-2 draw. But they have been barely impregnable in their home outings, keeping a clean sheet in both games thus far. However, the Herons will unlikely blow away CF Montreal, considering the away side’s solid showings at the onset of the 2024 season.

The visitors have conceded only once in two games thus far and will keep things tight for much of the proceedings on Sunday. But Inter Miami should find a way past Jonathan Sirois, with Lionel Messi inspiring a narrow 1-0 win off the bench and Luis Suarez continuing his scoring run.

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