Vancouver Whitecaps vs Inter Miami: Preview and Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps and Inter Miami are set to clash for the first time in their history, as the away side remains keen to continue their unbeaten run.

Vancouver Whitecaps are having a mixed-back season in the MLS, having seen their form peak in the first eight games, and then a massive dip that has pinned them into the seventh spot in the Western Conference table ahead of the visit of Inter Miami.

Vanni Sartini’s side has lost four successive matches in all competitions and will want a stern response from his players in the home clash against Inter Miami.

Interestingly, the Whitecaps have never lost a home game against a side coming from Florida and will hope that remains the case after their next fixture. Moreover, they are also unbeaten against sides from the Eastern Conference since a defeat to the Chicago Fire in July 2022.

Meanwhile, Inter Miami will take on Vancouver Whitecaps for the very first time in history and will want to make it a momentous one. Tata Martino’s side are on a seven-game unbeaten run in the MLS, which also happens to be their longest such streak in any of their regular-season campaigns, as they have won six of those contests.

Inter Miami have also kept four clean sheets this season, and Martino will hope for a fifth one against Vancouver Whitecaps. They have also lost only once on the road this season, against the New York Red Bulls.

Staggeringly, with 31 points on board after 15 games, Inter Miami have improved by 16 points from where they were at this stage last season, meaning there is every sense of optimism that this could be their year to make a breakthrough at the top of the pile.

Team News & Tactics

Vancouver Whitecaps

The Whitecaps were without Sam Adekugbe due to a calf strain, while Damir Kreilach was also missing with an ankle problem. The pair are expected to miss out again for the home team, though they can welcome back Bjorn Inge Utvik after he served a suspension.

New signings Cyprian Kachwele and Giuseppe Bovalina might not be in the starting lineup, with the latter starting in the previous game. The Whitecaps are still expected to field a competitive lineup, and some notable stars will be eager to make their mark.

Brian White will be leading the line for the Whitecaps, with support from Fafa Picault and Ryan Gauld from either wing. In midfield, Alessandro Schopf and Pedro Vite will play the central roles, flanked by the likes of Ali Ahmed and Ryan Raposo, with the pair set to feature as wing-backs in this team’s system.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Takaoka; Brown, Veselinovic, Blackmon; Ahmed, Schopf, Vite, Rapose; Picault, White, Gauld

Inter Miami

The visit to Vancouver may have created a bit of controversy, considering the Whitecaps have sold around 50,000 tickets as fans flock to see Lionel Messi in action. Unfortunately for all those waiting to see the World Cup winner, Messi did not board the plane for this game, as he missed out on what has been reported as a ‘rest.’

He is not alone, as Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets are also absent from the squad ahead of this game. In addition, Inter Miami are missing Shanyder Borgelin with a hamstring problem, while Diego Gomez continues to deal with an ankle sprain.

Hence, Gerardo Martino might have to pick his best available side for this game. Some long-term absentees include Robbie Robinson, Facundo Farias, and Federico Redondo, although Ian Fray seems close to returning at some point in the coming weeks.

Leonardo Campana, the match-winner against DC United, will certainly have a place in the lineup owing to the raft of superstar absentees. The forward will look to make the best of these opportunities.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Callender; Weigandt, Aviles, Kryvtsov, Alba; Gressel, Ruiz, Cremaschi; Rojas, Campana, Taylor

Ways to Watch

Key Stats

  • There have been under 2.5 goals scored in five of Vancouver Whitecaps’ last six games in the MLS.
  • Vancouver Whitecaps have failed to win their last five matches in MLS.
  • Inter Miami have won six of their last seven MLS matches.
  • Inter Miami are unbeaten in their last seven games.

Player to Watch

Leonardo Campana

Embed from Getty Images

Since the season began, the forward has been on the periphery of the first-team setup and has only been used mainly as a substitute. The coach cannot be blamed for this plight, considering he has the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez ahead of Campana.

Campana might have proven his worth with a late winner against DC United. He may benefit from the absence of Messi and Suarez ahead of this trip to Vancouver. Hence, the forward must take these opportunities in his stride and show Gerardo Martino he can rely upon him from the start in some crucial games.


Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Inter Miami

This might be the game where the Whitecaps end Inter Miami’s unbeaten run in the competition. The away side might miss the opportunity to extend their streak due to some key players missing. The absences of the former Barcelona trio might have a telling effect on their performances, although Gerardo Martino will certainly believe they have a good enough squad to get the results.

The Whitecaps, on the other hand, have not lost to a Florida-based side since July 2022 at home, and they might fight on to keep that record intact. With home advantage on their side, the Canadian side might nick a narrow victory here and improve their standing.

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