New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami: Preview and Prediction

Matchday 5 of the MLS season will get underway with a thrilling match at the Red Bull Arena as the New York Red Bulls host Inter Miami on Saturday.

The New York Red Bulls will host Inter Miami at home on Saturday in the fifth round of the 2024 MLS season. The Herons enter this game at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, while the Red Bulls are sixth with seven points and will be aiming to go joint-top with a win here.

Following a very sluggish start to the 2023 campaign, the New York Red Bulls were able to somehow reach the playoffs for the 14th consecutive campaign. This season, they have kicked off significantly better, collecting seven points in their first three games, including a draw against Nashville SC on the opening day and wins against the Houston Dynamo and Dallas.

However, New York Red Bulls come into this game off their first loss of the season, a 3-0 setback to a flamboyant Columbus Crew side on the road last week. Inter Miami, meanwhile, will aim to carry on their positive momentum in MLS regular season action after securing a 1-3 win over DC United last weekend thanks to a Luis Suarez brace and a goal by Leonardo Campana.

So far this 2024 regular season, Inter Miami have picked up three wins, a loss, and a draw for a tally of 10 points and sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, looking to open up the gap in this game.

Team News & Tactics

New York Red Bulls

Only one of New York Red Bulls’ troops will be absent from the squad on account of fresh injury concerns, with forward Dante Vanzeir out of action due to a short-term hamstring issue.

Serge Ngoma and Curtis Ofori are both long-term absentees. Carlos Coronel, John Tolkin, Noah Eile, Daniel Edelman, Emil Forsberg, and Cory Burke are all out due to international duty, while Daniel Edelman will be serving a one-match suspension after picking up a double yellow in the side’s 3-0 loss to Columbus Crew last week.

The resurgence of attacker Lewis Morgan has brought quality to the attacking third that the New York Red Bulls surely missed last season. He will be lining up in a two-pronged attack alongside Elias Manoel. Midfielders Frankie Amaya and Peter Stroud will look to control the middle of the pitch in this match, helped by wide players Wikelman Carmona and Dennis Gjengaar.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Meara; Duncan, Reyes, Nealis, Harper; Gjengaar, Amaya, Stroud, Carmona; Manoel, Morgan

Inter Miami

Inter Miami could be missing as many as nine players, including six regular starters, for the away trip to face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is recovering from a hamstring strain and sat out last weekend’s game against DC United.

He also did not report to the Argentina national team call-up for a pair of friendlies over the next week due to the same reason. Therefore, Messi is not expected to feature on Saturday, although there have been reports that he took part in some light training separate from the team on Wednesday morning.

Nicolas Freire picked up a hamstring issue during the DC game and is doubtful for the weekend. Leo Campana’s (adductor strain) is a game-time decision. Miami will be missing six players due to national team duty: Drake Callender (USA), Diego Gomez (Paraguay), Federico Redondo (Argentina Under-23), David Ruiz (Honduras), Shanyder Borgelin (Haiti), and Israel Boatwright (Dominican Republic Under-23).

CJ Dos Santos will start in between the sticks in place of Callender behind the back-four of Noah Allen, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Tomas Aviles, and Jordi Alba. Lawson Sunderland, Sergio Busquets, and Julian Gressel will be the three midfielders. Robert Taylor and Campana should be the two wingers, with Luis Suarez leading the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dos Santos; Allen, Aviles, Kryvstov, Alba; Sunderland, Busquets, Gressel; Taylor, Suarez, Campana

Key Stats

  • This will be the eighth overall regular season meeting between New York and Miami, with the Red Bulls holding the advantage in the fixture with five wins to their name (L3).
  • The Red Bulls are currently on a four-match unbeaten streak at Red Bull Arena across all competitions, including two straight regular-season wins.
  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in the New York Red Bulls’ last three MLS games.
  • Inter Miami have scored at least two goals in their last three MLS matches.
  • The hosts lost 3-0 in the most recent meeting between the two sides.

Player to Watch

Luis Suarez

Embed from Getty Images

No Lionel Messi, no problem. Even though Luis Suarez came off the bench as a substitute against DC United, he still managed to score two goals, helping his side win comfortably by 3-1. Given Lionel Messi is set to miss this game, the former Barcelona goal machine will be relied upon to produce the goods in the final third, having already bagged four goals in the MLS this season.


New York Red Bulls 2-3 Inter Miami

While Lionel Messi will be sidelined again for Inter Miami, they demonstrated last week that their squad depth will be a significant advantage this season, especially if Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, and Leonardo Campana can stay in peak form.

The New York Red Bulls are no slouch and will surely make it a tight contest in front of their home support. But the Hard Tackle predicts the Herons’ potency in attack will be all too much to handle in this game.

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