MX23RW : Saturday, October 16 01:14:36| >> :600:134802:134802:
Sep 23, 2021 at 12.30am UK at New Fort Lauderdale Stadium
Inter MiamiInter Miami
1-5
NashvilleNashville SC
Higuain (64')
Gregore (75')
Gregore (86')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Williams (6', 48'), Zimmerman (39'), Leal (70'), Johnston (90+6')
Williams (67')

Preview: Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Major League Soccer clash between Inter Miami and Nashville SC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Phil Neville's Inter Miami side will be looking to return to winning ways when they welcome high-flyers Nashville SC to the DRV PNK Stadium on Thursday.

Inter Miami remain hopeful of a playoff spot, whilst Nashville have their eyes set on consolidating their position within the top half.


Match preview

Inter Miami CF teammates celebrate on June 26, 2021© Reuters

Life under Neville has not always been easy for the newbies in their first full Major League Soccer season, yet the former England women's boss has enjoyed somewhat of an upturn in form in recent weeks.

Following two wins from their opening 12 fixtures, Inter Miami went on to win seven of their next nine, before suffering a comprehensive 4-0 defeat to New York Red Bulls in their last match.

A victory against the Red Bulls would have taken Inter Miami into the playoff spots, but the defeat means there is still work to be done for Neville.

Having missed out on the playoffs in their maiden MLS campaign, the David Beckham-backed franchise will be keen to occupy one of the top seven spots when the regular season concludes.

Currently just missing out in eighth, Inter Miami already look set to better last season's finish of 10th with just under two months of the campaign remaining.

It will be tight for the playoff-chasing sides, as fifth to 10th are all separated by just five points and if Inter Miami are to be amongst the successful teams, they will have to bounce back from their disappointment last time out.

They will face a tough test at home to second-placed Nashville, who themselves have enjoyed a stellar season under Essex-born boss Gary Smith.

A defender for Wycombe Wanderers and Fulham in a playing career that spanned 12 years, Smith has found his home at the Music City, with his side on the brink of their highest-ever MLS finish.

Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith directs his team against the Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on 15 May, 2021© Reuters

An MLS Cup winner with Colorado Rapids in 2010, Smith has a reputation for building stubborn sides that are tough to break down, with this Nashville team the latest example of just that.

No side in the Eastern Conference have conceded fewer goals than Nashville, with his former Rapids team level on 23 so far this year.

MLS Cup quarter-finalists in their first season in the division, Nashville will take one step closer to securing their 2021 playoff spot with a victory in Miami.

Similarly to their opponents, Nashville suffered a humiliating defeat in their last match, beaten 2-1 by bottom-placed side Toronto FC.

Rock-bottom of the Eastern Conference, Toronto picked up only their fourth win of the campaign, scoring 11 minutes from time to snatch the win.

Just their third defeat of the season, all of which have come on the road, Nashville have not lost two consecutive MLS matches since August 2020.

However, if they are to leave Florida with a win, Nashville will have to do something they have never managed and beat Inter Miami away from home.

Drawing their first match 0-0 in May, Neville's men triumphed 3-1 in the pair's last meeting back in August, with the upcoming encounter perfectly poised.

Inter Miami Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Nashville SC Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W



Team News

Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville helps D.C. United midfielder Kevin Paredes (30) to get up on June 9, 2021© Reuters

Part of Nashville's success this season has been down to their relatively good luck with injuries and the Music City will be hopeful of keeping players out of the treatment room in the end-of-season run-in.

Handwalla Bwana has sat out every Nashville game since mid-June and the 22-year-old winger will be absent for their trip to Miami.

Walker Zimmerman's form for Nashville has been key to their defensive stability and the centre-back will feature once more for the league's strongest backline.

CJ Sapong has featured in every match for Nashville so far this season and the 2012-13 MLS Cup winner will be looking to add to his 10 league goals so far this season.

Nashville SC defender Jack Maher celebrates with teammates on June 24, 2021© Reuters

By contrast, Inter Miami have had a rotten time with injuries this year and the Herons are without a number of key players for the visit of Nashville.

Former Premier League duo Ryan Shawcross and Kieran Gibbs are both out through injury and are not expected to return until October.

Such is the severity of the Inter Miami injury crisis, Neville could only name seven of the allotted nine substitutes for their defeat to the Red Bulls, with Ventura Alvarado and Joevin Jones expected to be absent once again.

Following an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered earlier in the year, Ian Fray is yet to feature for Inter Miami this season, but the centre-back could be close to a return.

Picking up two yellow cards last time out, Jorge Figal will miss the Nashville fixture through suspension, with Kelvin Leerdam the most likely candidate to replace him.

Gonzalo Higuain is yet to set the world alight since arriving from Juventus a year ago, with the veteran striker only managing nine goals in 21 matches, but he will no doubt retain his space in the Inter Miami squad.

Inter Miami possible starting lineup:
Marsman; Gonzalez Pirez, Leerdam, Makoun; Morgan, Gregore, Matuidi, Shea; Pizarro, Higuain, Robinson

Nashville SC possible starting lineup:
Willis; Romney, Zimmerman, Johnston; Washington, Godoy, Mukhtar, Anunga, Lovitz; Sapong, Rios


SM words green background

We say: Inter Miami 1-1 Nashville SC

Nashville have impressed throughout the 2021 campaign and whilst they will most likely have no issue securing a second consecutive playoff spot, they will want to ensure they keep their momentum going until the end of the regular season.

Whilst Nashville have been renowned for bouncing back from defeats with a result, Smith's men have struggled at times on the road, meaning Inter Miami do stand a strong chance of stealing a point.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Inter Miami vs Nashville

Inter Miami
38.3%
Draw
29.8%
Nashville SC
31.9%
47
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England29205457342365
2Nashville SCNashville281114346262047
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia28129738271145
4Orlando City2811984141042
5New York City FCNY City281171044321240
6DC United28124124941840
7CF MontrealMontreal28117104037340
8Atlanta UnitedAtlanta2810993733439
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls28107113430437
10Columbus Crew2897123239-734
11Inter MiamiInter Miami2895142543-1832
12Chicago Fire2976162946-1727
13Toronto2867153454-2025
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati2848162954-2520

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England29205457342365
2Nashville SCNashville281114346262047
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia28129738271145
4Orlando City2811984141042
5New York City FCNY City281171044321240
6DC United28124124941840
7CF MontrealMontreal28117104037340
8Atlanta UnitedAtlanta2810993733439
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls28107113430437
10Columbus Crew2897123239-734
11Inter MiamiInter Miami2895142543-1832
12Chicago Fire2976162946-1727
13Toronto2867153454-2025
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati2848162954-2520

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