Preview: Nashville SC vs Inter Miami CF

Nashville went on the road and picked up a 1-1 draw against D.C. United. Tonight, they welcome expansion rival, Inter Miami CF, to GEODIS Park for the first time. Can Nashville keep their six-match unbeaten streak alive? Will Inter Miami make it six wins in a row?

Nashville SC

3rd (East) | 19 points | 5-4-3 | +8 GD |
Power Rankings: 3

Injuries / Absences:

Out: Nick DePuy (season-ending injury list)
Questionable: Walker Zimmerman (lower body)

Nashville SC Gear at

After an extended period at home, Nashville went on the road to Washington D.C. and picked up a point. Giving up a late goal for the draw was not the way the Boys in Gold wanted it to go but when you are winning games at home, you can afford a draw on the road.

Hany Mukhtar was kept off the stats sheet for the first match since the Toronto FC game, but the goal scored by Muyl came from a shot by Mukhtar. Historically, Mukhtar has started the season a bit slow and really rounded into form come summertime, however, he has five goals and two assists in his last five.

If Mukhtar stays in this form, we could be in for something even more special than previous seasons.

With a rare midweek league game, Gary Smith has to take rotation into account for really the first time this season. The good news is that Nashville is relatively healthy. Randall Leal and Walker Zimmerman both missed out on the bench against D.C. but have trained well since. Smith said that both would be a last-minute decision for tonight but he was in a good place mentally about their continued availability.

With a road match on the weekend and an Open Cup match next week, I would expect to see Zimmerman and Leal available off the bench.

Against Miami, we should expect to see a few changes but nothing too drastic. The question for Nashville comes around the midfield positions. Dax McCarty has seen a real resurgence since the move to a diamond. He is able to utilize his positional awareness and most importantly, his deep-lying playmaking to help the ‘Yotes in transition. However, at 35 years old, it’s a big as to start three games a week.

Sean Davis should slot in for McCarty. He won’t provide the same level of passing in transition, but Anibal Godoy will have a bit more freedom to play those balls against the depleted Miami midfield.

Inter Miami CF

6th (East) | 15 points | 5-0-6 | 0 GD |
Power Rankings: 17

Injuries / Absences:

Out: Gregore (lisfranc), Jean Mota (knee), Rodolfo Pizarro (hamstring), David Ruiz (red card)
Questionable: Ian Fray (knee), Sergii Kryvtsov (calf), Robbie Robinson (calf)

Inter Miami has always been intrinsically linked to Nashville. They both came into the league at the same time but with vastly different roster construction and philosophy. They have constantly been used as a measuring stick against each other and after three full seasons, Nashville has the upper hand.

The start of the season has been interesting for Inter Miami. They won their opening two matches, lost their next six, and now are on a three-match win streak with five wins straight in all comps.

Unlike Nashville, Phill Neville finds himself with a host of missing players. The Miami midfield has been hit especially hard with Gregore and Mota both out for extended periods. David Ruiz is a young player with a ton of promise who has come in to help fill the void in midfield but unfortunately picked up a red card on the weekend.

Phill Neville has been utilizing a 4-2-3-1 formation for the majority of the season but against New England, he switched to a 3-5-2 to get both Josef Martinez and Leonardo Campana on the field at the same time.

The partnership of Campana and Martinez is starting to take shape and Gary Smith mentioned it as a source of concern for Nashville going in tonight’s match. However, I am not so sure that we see that partnership from the beginning.

I expect to see a reversion back to the 4-2-3-1 even with the success on the weekend. This allows Neville to have an additional attacking option off the bench in Martinez while also ensuring that there is adequate rotation.

The question then becomes what does Neville do in midfield? Dixon Arroyo was brought in at the close of the window and is certain to start as one of the two holders. Alongside of him, Victor Ulloa should return to the lineup. Ulloa hasn’t started a league game since March but Neville does not have much of a choice.

Nashville and especially Hany Mukhtar will look to exploit these midfield issues and should be able to pick up the win at home.

Prematch Press Conference

Pod Picks

Chris Ivey

Score: Nashville 2-0 Miami
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Jacob Shaffelburg
MOTM: JHany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Miami finishes below .5 xG

Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 3-0 Miami
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Fafa Picault, Lukas MacNaughton
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville scores twice in the final 30 minutes

Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 2-0 Miami
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar (x2)
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville holds Miami to a single shot on target.

Valair Shabilla

Score: Nashville 3-1 Miami
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar (x2), Fafa Picault
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville will be up 2-0 at halftime.

Fan Forecast

Match info

Teams: Nashville SC v. Inter Miami FC
Odds: NSH (-155), Draw (+270), MIA (+425) via BetMGM
Date: Wednesday, May 17
Time: 7:30 pm CDT, GEODIS Park, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: Apple TV
Radio: 104.5 The Zone (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 81°/59°. Partly Cloudy. 10% chance of rain. 46% 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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