Preview: Nashville SC at Inter Miami CF

After their worst loss in team history to Atlanta United, Nashville SC is back on the road. On Wednesday, they head down to South Florida as they face Inter Miami for the fourth time this season. Can the ‘Yotes bounce back and get revenge for their Leagues Cup final defeat? Will Messi and Co continue their inevitable march up the table?

Inter Miami CF

7st (East) | 48 points | 6-3-14 | -12 GD |
Power Rankings: 28

Injuries / Absences:

Out: TBA

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Eleven days after the Leagues Cup Final, Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC are back in action against each other. Since winning the final on penalties, the form of these two teams has been drastically different.

Miami has beaten FC Cincinnati on penalties to advance to the US Open Cup Final and picked up a 2-0 win away to New York Red Bulls for their first League match since Messi’s inclusion. They’re now back at home for the first match since their Leagues Cup victory with what is sure to be a rocking atmosphere.

With a spot secured in the Open Cup final, Tata Martino is now faced with guiding this team from the bottom of the table to a playoff position. The match against New York saw Martino rest some key players for the first time since their inclusion. Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets were both rested and made appearances off the bench but Jordi Alba was given the start.

Martino will have to balance giving his star players the rest they need to perform at a high level, but the margin for error is quite thin. Even if Miami win out for the rest of the season, they could potentially still miss out on the playoffs.

The past two matches have seen Martino deviate from that 4-3-3 he played against Nashville to a back three/five formation. Expect to see a reversion to the 4-3-3 tomorrow night.

After getting some much needed rest, Messi and Busquets should slot right back in to the staring lineup in their preferred positions but Jordi Alba will most likely be rested out on the left hand side. Without Alba’s runs down the flank, Miami should expect Nashville to push a little bit higher up the field down that side.

The big concern for Miami is going to be the runs in behind by the Nashville forwards. Surridge and Mukhtar were both able to find gaps in that back line but, unfortunately, were unable to take advantage. If that happens again, expect to see a Nashville goal or two.

Nashville SC

7th (East) | 38 points | 11-5-9 | +5 GD |
Power Rankings: 11

Injuries / Absences:

Out: Nick DePuy (Achilles)
Questionable: Walker Zimmerman (lower body
, Sam Surridge (lower body)

Gary Smith’s comments about there not being a chance of a Leagues Cup hangover aged quite poorly. The 0-4 loss to Atlanta United was not only the worst loss in club history but one of the worst performances. The ‘Yotes came out quickly in the first 10 or so minutes but once past, they were full of mistakes and just looked exhausted.

They are now faced with another match up against Messi before the return home to GEODIS Park.

Much like Miami, we saw Nashville rotate players for their match against Atlanta, however some of the rotation was due to injury. Walker Zimmerman missed out on the match due to a lower body injury. Smith said that he may have played in different circumstances but wanted him to befit for this match. However, he’s still listed as questionable, along with Sam Surridge who may have picked up a knock against Atlanta. Hopefully both injuries aren’t serious enough to keep them out of Wednesday’s game.

Good news for Nashville fans is that Surridge was apart of the pre-match press conference which is usually a sign about their availability. If unable from the start, I would expect to see Teal Bunbury slot in his place but Gary Smith could choose to move Mukhtar up into a forward role with Randall Leal at the tip of the diamond.

The midfield is where the real questions lie for this team. Dax McCarty had a fantastic tournament and got some much needed rest against Atlanta. He will be back at the base of the diamond but the two sides of the diamond could be several options. Alex Muyl is likely to get some rest and could be replaced by Randall Leal.

Leal missed the majority of the Leagues Cup with an injury but saw some time against Monterrey and Miami. If healthy, he could supply the midfield with some added creativity or Smith could opt for a more defensively solid option like Sean Davis. Regardless of selection, if Nashville can disrupt the Miami midfield, they should be able to hit them in transition.

Nashville will have to be sharper than they were against Atlanta. If not, the Boys in Gold could be in for a long night.

Pod Picks

Chris Ivey

Score: Nashville 0-2 Miami
Scorers:
MOTM: Joe Willis
Bold Prediction: Nashville finishes with less than 0.5 xG

Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 1-1 Miami
Scorers: Sam Surridge
MOTM: Sam Surridge
Bold Prediction: Nashville takes the lead early but concedes a second-half equalizer.

Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 1-1 Miami
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: The game is delayed for lightning at least once.

Valair Shabilla

Score: Nashville 2-1 Miami
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar x2
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Miami will score late but Nashville will look the better tea,.

Fan Forecast

Press Conference

Match info

Teams: Inter Miami CF v. Nashville SC
Odds: ATL (-185), Draw (+333), NSH (+400) via BetMGM
Date: Wednesday, August 30
Time: 6:30 pm CDT, DRV PNK, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
TV: Apple TV
Radio: 104.5 The Zone (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 90°/80°. Showers. 60% chance of rain. 74% humidity

Author: Jonathan Slapeoriginated from outside of Atlanta but has lived in Nashville since 2005. Original member of Speedway Soccer and has been talking and occasionally writing about Nashville SC since the USL days. Self proclaimed official fashion correspondent. Outside of Nashville SC you can find him singing the praises of Jurgen Klopp, discussing the latest in sneakers and soccer fashion with a good stiff drink.

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