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Aug 5, 2021 at 1am UK
Orlando CityOrlando City
1-1
Inter MiamiInter Miami
Carlos (45+1')
Urso (56'), Rosell (85')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Gibbs (66')
Pizarro (68')

Preview: Orlando City vs. Inter Miami - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Orlando City vs. Inter Miami - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Orlando City and Inter Miami, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Local rivals will square off on Thursday in Major League Soccer action, as Inter Miami make the short trip to take on Orlando City.

After breaking a losing run recently, the visitors will come into the game with renewed confidence, while both sides will be hoping to get one over on the other in the battle between Florida's two MLS sides.


Match preview

Orlando City come into Thursday's game on the back of a narrow 3-2 home victory in a dramatic encounter with Atlanta United last time out.

Josef Martinez gave the visitors the lead inside the first minute with an eye-catching strike from 20 yards, but Kyle Smith equalised on the stroke of half time for the Lions before they again went behind soon after the hour mark as Marcelino Moreno got on the scoresheet.

With less than 15 minutes to go, Orlando looked set to fall to a defeat, only for Silvester van der Water to level the game and Nani to hit the winner in the dying minutes, sealing three important points for Oscar Pareja's men.

That was a crucial turnaround for the Lions following a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of New York City in their previous outing, as Pareja's men were handed just their fourth league defeat of the season.

While that was a particularly disheartening result, the Exploria Stadium side did manage to immediately bounce back and regain second spot in the Eastern Conference table with a seven-point lead over eight-placed DC United outside the playoff places.

They will now aim to further cement their position at the top of the table by making it back-to-back victories after that heavy defeat.

To do that, they will have to get past a rejuvenated Inter Miami side, who have bounced back well from a losing run.

After a relatively mixed start to the campaign, the Herons went through a run of six straight league defeats, culminating in a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Conference leaders New England Revolution.

That run saw Phil Neville's men drop to the foot of the division, but they managed to stop the rot in the final game of July with a commendable 1-1 draw against fifth-placed Philadelphia Union, although they did look set to pick up a 1-0 win thanks to Robbie Robinson's opener with 20 minutes to go, only for Kacper Przybylko to level the game in the 85th minute.

The Miami outfit would hold on for a victory last time out, though, narrowly escaping a home clash against CF Montreal with a 2-1 win thanks to a Gonzalo Higuain brace after Joaquin Torres had put their opponents ahead.

Having now reduced the gap between themselves and 13th spot to just one point, Neville's men will be keen to continue their upturn in form to trigger a quick rise up the league, as they only trail the playoff places by 10 points.

Orlando City Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

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

Team News

Orlando City continue to be hit by injuries in key places, as goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and proven frontman Alexandre Pato are both out of contention.

They are not the end of the injury concerns, with midfielders Junior Urso, Jhegson Mendez and Wilfredo Riveira all expected to continue spells on the sidelines.

Experienced winger Nani will be a key man going forward, having hit eight goals and registered five assists in just 13 MLS appearances this season.

Gonzalo Higuain should certainly be trusted to lead the line for Inter Miami after hitting a brace to win the game last time out against CF Montreal, taking his tally to seven MLS goals for the season.

Their only selection concerns come at the back, with Leandro Gonzalez suspended for Thursday's game and Joevin Jones and Ian Frey missing out through injury.

World Cup winning midfielder Blaise Matuidi should be given Neville's trust to start after a substitute appearance last time out, with the anchorman offering Federico Higuain freedom to get forward.

Orlando City possible starting lineup:
Stajduhar; Teixeira, Carlos, Jansson, Smith; Perea, Rosell; Mueller, Pereyra, Nani; Akindele

Inter Miami possible starting lineup:
Marsman; Leerdam, Figal, Alvarado, Gibbs; Ulloa, Matuidi; Morgan, F Higuain, Robinson; G Higuain


We say: Orlando City 2-1 Inter Miami

While Inter Miami look to have turned a corner, Orlando have been a formidable outfit for almost the entirety of the campaign so far and could be a step too far for the Herons in the current circumstances.

The Lions did well to bounce back from a heavy defeat last time out, and we would expect them to collect three more points in their bid to keep hold of a spot at the top end of the table.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data



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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2410863533238
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7DC United25104114136534
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia238872824432
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2410863533238
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7DC United25104114136534
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia238872824432
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318
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