Inter Miami vs New York City FC: Preview and Prediction

New York City FC will aim to secure their first away win of the campaign when they travel to Inter Miami on Saturday night.

New York City FC seeks their inaugural away triumph of the 2024 MLS season as they journey to Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale to face Inter Miami this Saturday.

After a hard-fought comeback win against Toronto, New York City FC failed to replicate their performance last Saturday, marking their fourth loss of the season. Nick Cushing’s squad has participated in only five domestic matches this year, suffering as many defeats as they did in their first 11 MLS fixtures last season.

Inter Miami once again displayed vulnerabilities in transition last Saturday, conceding three or more goals for the second time in their last three league matches. The loss to the Red Bulls marked the most significant setback for Miami since Gerardo Martino assumed charge last July, and their most substantial domestic defeat since March 2022, when they were defeated 5-1 by Austin FC.

Despite conceding first in their last two home encounters against the Pigeons, Inter Miami managed to secure a draw (1-1) last season. Additionally, they have not experienced consecutive losses since October 2023. Following their defeat, the Herons responded with a convincing 3-1 victory over Nashville SC in the CONCACAF Champions Cup (CCC).

Inter Miami has netted multiple goals in all four of their competitive home fixtures this season but suffered their first domestic loss of 2024 at Chase Stadium in their previous outing against CF Montreal (3-2). In their match against the Red Bulls, the heavily rotated Herons struggled to generate opportunities against the opponent’s high press, managing only two shots on target while conceding four goals from six targeted attempts.

The Boys in Blue have endured three losses in their MLS away fixtures in 2024, failing to score in any of those matches. Additionally, they have not clinched a victory in eight consecutive away matches in the competition. Despite scoring first in two of their last three matches, the Pigeons failed to secure three points on both occasions, with their only draw coming against the Portland Timbers.

New York City FC remained unbeaten in their two visits to Florida last season but have not clinched a domestic victory in the Sunshine State since October 2021. While they have not won in their recent two trips to Chase Stadium, NYCFC has garnered points in eight of their nine meetings with Inter Miami in regular season or playoff encounters, emerging victorious in seven of those matches.

The Hard Tackle takes a look at how both sides could line up for the game and their tactics.

Team News & Tactics

Inter Miami

Last weekend saw the absence of Lionel Messi from the Herons’ lineup due to a muscle injury. Whether Gerardo Martino will opt to rest him in preparation for their upcoming CONCACAF Champions Cup clash against Monterrey remains to be seen.

The trio of Robbie Robinson, Ian Fray, and Facundo Farias were sidelined for the previous encounter against the New York Red Bulls due to knee problems. Additionally, the club announced on Thursday that Federico Redondo sustained an injury to his lateral collateral ligament, potentially sidelining him for up to eight weeks.

Nicolas Freire was also unavailable last time around owing to a hamstring strain, while Benjamin Cremaschi was sidelined due to a sports hernia. On a brighter note, there is optimism regarding the potential return of David Ruiz, Drake Callender, Shanyder Borgelin, and Israel Boatwright from their international duties.

Whether MLS SuperDraft pick Yannick Bright and Boca Juniors loanee Marcelo Weigandt will play a part remains to be seen. Inter Miami are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Drake Callender in goal.

He should be protected by the backline of Ryan Sailor, Tomas Aviles, Serhiy Kryvtsov and Jordi Alba. Sergio Busquets should hold the fort in central midfield, with Julian Gressel and Diego Gomez for support. Robert Taylor and Lionel Messi should provide support for Luis Suarez, who is expected to once again lead the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Callender; Sailor, Aviles, Kryvtsov, Alba; Ruiz, Busquets, Gomez; Messi, Suarez, Taylor

New York City FC

Talles Magno missed the previous match for NYCFC with a knee issue. while Maxi Moralez is also nursing a similar knock himself. It is not all bad news, as Keaton Parks is eligible to return from his red card suspension.

The sextet of Tomas Romero, Jovan Mijatovic, Christian McFarlane, Mitja Ilenic, Tayvon Gray, and Monsef Bakrar were unavailable the last time out due to the international break, paving the way for Malachi Jones, Alonso Martinez, and Strahinja Tanasijevic to make their NYCFC debuts.

NYCFC are likely to go in with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Matt Freese in goal. He should be protected by the back four of Mitja Ilenic, Thiago Martins, Birk Risa and Kevin O’Toole. Keaton Parks and Andres Perea should form the double pivot, adding a protective barrier for the NYCFC backline.

This should allow the trio of Hannes Wolf, Santiago Rodriguez, and Julian Fernandez to push forward. Monsef Bakrar should lead the line upfront for New York City FC against Inter Miami on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Freese; Ilenic, Risa, Martins, O’Toole; Parks, Perea; Fernandez, Rodriguez, Wolf; Bakrar

Inter Miami vs New York City FC: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • New York City have dominated recent encounters against Inter Miami, clinching victory in eight out of their last 10 matchups across all competitions.
  • Despite their strong home form, New York City have struggled on the road in the 2024 MLS season, suffering defeat in all three away contests and failing to find the back of the net in any of those matches.
  • The woes continue for New York City away from home, as they remain without a win in their last eight successive away matches in the competition.
  • New York City’s struggles extend to their performances in the Sunshine State, where they have not tasted victory in a domestic contest since October 2021.
  • Inter Miami’s early leads haven’t always translated into wins, as evidenced by two of their last three instances of scoring first resulting in them failing to secure a victory.

Player to Watch

Luis Suarez

Embed from Getty Images

The Uruguayan is well past his peak but retains the clinical ability in front of the goal that has served him well throughout his career. With Lionel Messi unlikely to be fully fit, Suarez will once again be the most dangerous attacker for the home side on the day.

With six goals and five assists in eight games across all competitions, the 37-year-old has been an inspired addition to the Inter Miami roster. After firing a blank against the New York Red Bulls, Suarez will be keen to put their city rivals to the sword.


Inter Miami 2-1 New York City

Both teams are missing key players, and it could come down to individual quality as to who will come out on top. New York Red Bulls brutally exposed Inter Miami last time around, and this time with home support to boot, the Pigeons will be hopeful of reversing their fortunes. The Hard Tackle predict a narrow win for the home side.

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