Both Sides Try to Bounce Back as Inter Miami Hosts Nashville
The Major League Soccer season is approaching the stretch run, with teams scrambling to collect as many points as possible. That will surely be the case on Wednesday night when Inter Miami plays host to Nashville SC. Both sides will be looking to take three points, albeit for different reasons.
According to BetUS, Nashville SC is the favorite on the road with a +135 moneyline, while Miami’s moneyline is set at +230 with a +220 moneyline for a draw. BetOnline has similar betting odds except with Inter Miami listed at +240 instead of +230. However, both sites have the over/under set at 2.5 goals.
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Nashville isn’t under a ton of pressure as far as making the playoffs is concerned, as they sit in second place in the Eastern Conference. However, there are just six points between second place and the final playoff spot, so NSC can’t afford to stumble down the stretch. Finishing second or third in the conference would also qualify Nashville for the Leagues Cup, which should inspire them to finish the season strong, even if overtaking New England at the top of the standings is unrealistic.
Meanwhile, Inter Miami sits on the outside of the playoff picture with 32 points. Of course, that puts them just three points behind Philadelphia for the final playoff spot with ten matches left to play this season. If the Herons get it going down the stretch, they’ll have a chance to claim a playoff spot, as they are a mere six points out of third place in a super-tight Eastern Conference.
Feeling the Heat
The Herons recently put together a three-game winning streak and a six-match unbeaten run. But that came to a screeching halt over the weekend when they were embarrassed at home 4-0 against the New York Red Bulls. It didn’t help that Jorge Figal received a red card, although Inter Miami was already down 2-0 at that point and being dominated.
At the moment, Miami’s sluggish attack is the team’s biggest concern. The Herons have failed to score more than one goal in five consecutive games, which is giving them little margin for error. Even leading scorer Gonzalo Higuain has started to go cold, so the Herons are desperate to get some other people involved in the scoring.
Don’t Worry About It
Nashville also saw a three-game winning streak and five-match unbeaten run come to an end last weekend with a 2-1 loss against Toronto. However, Nashville has reason to be less worried about that loss, as NSC has still outscored its opponents 13-6 over the club’s last six games. Ironically, that stretch began following a road loss to Inter Miami.
Nevertheless, Nashville has two players who have scored ten goals on the season in C.J. Sapong and Many Mukhtar. The latter player is also the team’s leader in assists, while the tandem of Sapong and Mukhtar has combined for four goals in the team’s last five matches. With two capable goal scorers, Nashville isn’t panicking, especially since they own the second-best defensive record in the league.
The Villains Prevail
Inter Miami is surely the more desperate team in this game, which could play a role in the proceedings, especially at home. But Miami’s margin for error is small, and their attack isn’t likely to get anything done against one of the best defensive sides in MLS.
Bet on Nashville to be the team that gets back on track quickly with a 1-0 or 2-0 victory over Inter Miami on Wednesday.
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