MATCH PREVIEW: Inter Miami CF v Nashville SC

Nashville SC came from behind on Wednesday to secure a 1-1 draw against Orlando City SC. The Boys in Gold are back on the road Sunday evening as the travel down to Fort Lauderdale to take on Inter Miami. How does Nashville line up? What adjustments might Gary Smith and Diego Alonso make? We take a look at how the match could play out.


Nashville SC

After facing off against Orlando City, NSC again take on fellow expansion team Inter Miami. Nashville come in to the game with 8 points after 8 games. Sunday night’s match, marks the end of a compressed schedule that saw Nashville playing every 3-4 days. The boys in Gold will have a full 6 days to prepare for their match against Atlanta United on September 12th.

The main talking point of the Orlando match is Hany Mukhtar and Randall Leal finding their feet and combining for the first time on Leal’s goal. Both players will have to feel some level of weight off their shoulders as they have begun to connect on the score sheet. I expect to see both of them build upon that against Miami. A confident Mukhtar and Leal should also benefit the likes of Badji and Ríos as well.

Other than the first match against Orlando, Smith has utilize the 4-2-3-1 and with the success against Miami previously, I expect to see him utilize the same formation again. I also expect him to stick with an almost unchanged lineup from the match Wednesday since Nashville will have a full week of rest before facing Atlanta.

Up front, Nashville has had a steady pattern of rotation, Dominique Badji and Daniel Ríos every other game with Badji exception of Badji starting the last two. Tonight, Daniel Ríos should get the start to that will provide a slight change in tactics from the last time these two teams faced off. The three positions behind the striker look to have been solidified. Hany Muhktar in the central attacking position with Alex Muyl on the left and Randall Leal shifted over to the right

In the Midfield, Dax McCarty and Aníbal Godoy will continue with their successful partnership. I am beginning to run out of praise for these two as they are the lynch pin to the success of NSC both against Miami and the season as a whole.

Aside from the three goals against Orlando, the defense has been core to the results for the Boys in Gold. Against Inter Miami, the starting defense will stay the same from Wednesday night. Joe Willis will start in goal with the duo of Dave Romney and Walker Zimmerman at centerback. At fullback, Daniel Lovitz will lineup on the left with Alistair Johnston on the right. Lovitz will continue to to have to avoid another yellow card as he is in danger of suspension.


Inter Miami CF

Is this a must win game for Inter Miami? After 8 matches Diego Alonso’s team sits on 4 points after 8 games, dead last in the league. A loss on Sunday would see them sit a full 7 points behind their expansion rivals. While Alonso’s job is not on the line, this is as must win as it can get this early in the season. A fellow expansion candidate at home awaits.

In Miami’s defense, this is far from their finished product. It is well known that they are after a DP striker (Gonzalo Higuian has been rumored) and Blaise Matuidi has just joined the team in training. As it pertains to Matuidi, he will be available for selection on Sunday but there is no guarantee he sees the field. In media availability Alonso said, “Clearly he’s not physically 100 percent. That’s normal. a season and then a break, a vacation period and the restart of training. Nonetheless, we’ve noticed he’s in good shape.”

As we saw last Sunday, Diego Alonso will line up in a 4-3-3 that will play a mid block and look to pressure in certain situations. On Wednesday night, he rested Wil Trapp, Julián Carranza and Matías Pellegrini and all three should return to the starting lineup.

Up front, Julián Carranza was one of the trio rested on Wednesday against Atlanta. He will return to the starting strike position with Rodolfo Pizarro and Lewis Morgan either side of him. Look to see Pizarro drop back in to the midfield at times, swapping with Pellegrini.

In the midfield, USMNT veteran Wil Trapp will return to the starting lineup sit in the defensive midfield position and break up attacks. Further up in the midfield, Victor Ulloa will slot in on the left and play a hybrid number 8 and Matías Pellegrini as the most advance midfielder. Blaise Matuidi is technically available for selection and could make the bench, but do not expect to see him in the starting lineup.

At the back, long time MLS veteran Luis Robles will be in net in front of the center back pairing of Leandro González Pirez and Andres ReyesGonzález Pirezhas continued to be the defensive presence needed to lead the defense. At full back Ben Sweat will start on the left with Nicolas Figal on the right.


INJURY REPORT

Inter Miami CF

OUT: George Acosta (left knee), David Norman Jr. (left ankle), Denso Ulysee (left lower leg)
QUESTIONABLE: 

Nashville SC

OUT: Ken Tribbett (calf), Jimmy Medranda (hip)
QUESTIONABLE:


POD PICKS

Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 1 – 2 Inter Miami CF
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar x2
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Mukhtar scores twice from outside the box.

Andy Simmons

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 Inter Miami CF
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Dominique Badj
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Mukhtar scores his goal from a free kick.

Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 Inter Miami CF
Scorers: Randall Leal, Alex Muyl
MOTM: Randall Leal
Bold Prediction: Leal scores and registers an assist in a dominant Nahsville performance.

Davey Shepherd

Score: Nashville 2 – 1 Inter Miami CF
Scorers: Dominique Badj, Randall Leal
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Mukhtar registers both assists and Inter earn a penalty.

John Sloop

Score: Nashville 3 – 2 Inter Miami CF
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Dominique Badj, Randall Leal
MOTM: Dominique Badj
Bold Prediction: Inter Miami’s goals bookend Nashville SC’s three goal performance.


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MATCH INFO

Date: Sunday, 09/6/20
Time: 7:00 PM, Inter Miami CF Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
TV: FS1
Radio: 94.9 The Game 2 (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 87°/79°. Scattered Thunderstorms. 60% chance of rain. 73% humidity.

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