Inter Miami vs Charlotte FC: Predicted lineup, injury news, head-to-head, telecast
The first of two consecutive battles between the Herons and The Crown
Without the duo of Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba, Inter Miami have suffered badly. Although The Herons were making strides towards reaching the 2023 Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs since Messi, Alba and Sergio Busquets joined. They seemingly turned off the gas when the duo got sidelined.
In the last game against FC Cincinnati, Inter Miami recorded 3 shots hitting the woodwork. Even Lionel Messi was brought in at the 55-minute mark for the rest of the game. Ultimately, opponent Álvaro Barreal headed home the winner in the 78-minute after Drake Callender’s clearance found him. This 1-0 loss has resulted in striking away any chance of qualification in the final two games of the MLS regular season for Messi and Co.
Suddenly the club based in North Carolina have ushered their chances of reaching the MLS playoffs. Charlotte FC have registered back-to-back wins. Now they need another set of two back-to-back wins against Inter Miami to mark the first time in their club history of reaching the MLS playoffs.
Now they will end the season with a double battle in the space of three days against Inter Miami. The first one takes place this Wednesday night at the DRV PNK Stadium. Both Inter Miami and Charlotte FC last met in the Leagues Cup quarter-finals. The trio of Messi, Alba and Busquets were involved in the 4-0 humbling of The Crown.
Wednesday, 18 October at 8:00 PM ET
Thursday, 19 October at 5:30 AM IST
Location: DRV PNK Stadium
Inter Miami (in all competitions): L-L-D-L-D
Charlotte FC (in all competitions): W-W-L-L-D
Players to watch in Inter Miami vs Charlotte FC
Sergio Busquets (Inter Miami)
It will be impossible for Lionel Messi to be playing for Argentina against Peru and then showing up for another game for the club which kicks off in less than 24 hours after the Peru one. Sergio Busquets will be the main anchor for the Inter Miami team with eight first-team players out on international duty including Messi. Busquets will be key in rotating the ball, keeping possession and also trying his luck in creating chances for his teammates.
Ashley Westwood (Charlotte FC)
Charlotte FC also has three players called up for international duties. Out of them, Poland’s Karol Świderski had scored three goals in the last two games for The Crown. Not to worry much though as defensive midfielder Ashley Westwood was seen scoring a stunning volley from the edge of the box against Chicago Fire FC last time out. The captain will be a key player in Charlotte’s desire to get all three points and check one box out of two, to get to the MLS playoffs.
- Inter Miami are winless in the last five games in all competitions
- Charlotte FC have the MLS playoffs qualification in their own hands. They will need to defeat Inter Miami in both the remaining duels of the regular season
- In the last meeting, The Crown were thrashed 4-0 by The Herons. That game though had Messi and Alba in full fitness
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Injury & team news
Key players like Messi and Alba’s injury crisis coincidently led to the poor run of the current form of Inter Miami as well. Alba will once again be sidelined along with Leonardo Campana, Diego Gomez, Corentin Jean, Franco Negri, Ian Fray and Gregore. Coach Gerardo Martino will also have seven players on international duty as well as Messi, making the squad options very limited.
Meanwhile, for the away side, three players on international duties are Jere Uronen, Bill Tuiloma and Karol Swiderski. Swiderski is now involved with the Poland national football team. He was critical in the last two victories for Charlotte having scored a combined three goals in those games. Coach Christian Lattanzio will further have Ben Bender and Vinicius Mello on the treatment table. Derrick Jones will be suspended for this tie due to yellow card accumulation.
Head to Head
Total Matches – 3
Inter Miami wins – 2
Charlotte FC wins – 1
Draws – 0
Inter Miami predicted lineup (4-3-3):
Callender (GK); Yedlin, Aviles, McVey, Sailor; Ulloa, Busquets, Mota; Robinson, Stefanelli, Valencia
Charlotte FC predicted lineup (4-4-2):
Kahlina (GK); Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Afful; Jozwiak, Westwood, Bronico, Vargas; Meram, Copetti
Match Prediction for Inter Miami vs Charlotte FC
The Herons have stumbled heavily after Messi and Alba went missing due to injuries. The last game loss against FC Cincinnati confirmed the news of Inter Miami missing out on the 2023 MLS playoffs. On the other hand, Charlotte are on a rejoicing run and have the opportunity to reach the playoffs for the first time in their club history. They will have to beat Inter Miami in both the upcoming fixtures to guarantee a playoff spot.
With the away side wanting to make history, they will be highly motivated to get a win at DRV PNK Stadium before they host The Herons in their own backyard.
Prediction: Inter Miami 0-2 Charlotte FC
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