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Sep 23, 2021 at 12.30am UK
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

:Headline: 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.
Sports Mole

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

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.

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

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.

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


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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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England31216462382469
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City30121084342146
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England31216462382469
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City30121084342146
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea97112332022
2Manchester CityMan City96212041620
3Liverpool85302261618
4Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton943299015
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8503912-315
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd84221610614
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham84221510514
8Everton94231514114
9Arsenal94231013-314
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves941499013
11Brentford8332107312
12Leicester CityLeicester83231314-111
13Aston Villa93151315-210
14Watford93151217-510
15Crystal Palace91621114-39
16Southampton9153812-48
17Leeds UnitedLeeds9144816-87
18Burnley9045715-84
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle90451120-94
20Norwich CityNorwich9027223-212
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