Saturday night will see two sides with differing aspirations face off in the Eastern Conference in MLS, as the New York Red Bulls face Inter Miami at Red Bull Arena.
The hosts are currently on a three-game unbeaten run and find themselves sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference, while the visitors are on a five-match losing run.
Reaching the playoffs seems like an attainable goal for Gerhard Struber‘s New York Red Bulls, while Phil Neville‘s Inter Miami need to quickly turn things around if they are to not have their season ended prematurely.
Inter Miami in poor form
For Neville, he understands that given the talent at his disposal – namely former World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi, Gonzalo Higuain and Rodolfo Pizarro – they should be performing far better, having picked up just eight points from their first 11 games this season.
“The team knows what’s expected and what we need to do,” Neville told the media on Thursday. “We’re at the point of no excuses. We need to win games of football.”
How they fared last season
The 2020 season was Inter Miami‘s debut campaign in MLS, and in their matchup against the New York Red Bulls they won a game apiece.
Inter Miami lost the first match 4-1 at home, with Mandela Egbo giving the New York Red Bulls the lead from the penalty spot before Juan Agudelo equalised for the hosts just before half time. However, Inter Miami collapsed in the second half as Brian White, Ben Mines and Daniel Royer all got on the scoresheet for RBNY.
A couple of months later, Inter Miami were able to get their revenge. Omir Fernandez gave the New York Red Bulls the lead eight minutes after half time, but Matias Pellegrini almost immediately hit back for the visitors. Then, with nine minutes of regulation time left, Gonzalo Higuain grabbed the winner for Inter Miami with an impressive free kick.
NYRB will be without six players due to injury on Saturday night, with star player Caden Clark, Andres Reyes, Daniel Royer, Andrew Gutman, Aaron Long and Youba Diarra all unavailable.
Inter Miami, meanwhile, have three players currently on the treatment table in Sami Guediri, Robbie Robinson, Ian Fray.
New York Red Bulls’ predicted XI: Carlos Coronel; Kyle Duncan, Tom Edwards, Amro Tarek, John Tolkin; Dru Yearwood, Sean Davis; Cristian Casseres, Frankie Amaya; Patryk Klimala, Fabio.
Inter Miami’s predicted XI: John McCarthy; Kelvin Leerdam, Ryan Shawcross, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Christian Makoun; Blaise Matuidi, Victor Ulloa; Lewis Morgan, Rodolfo Pizarro, Julian Carranza; Gonzalo Higuain.
NYRB vs Inter Miami prediction
Inter Miami‘s poor form would lead you to think that they should lose comfortably here, but they might be able to take advantage of the New York Red Bulls‘ injury absentees on Saturday night, especially with Caden Clark and Aaron Long still out. However, if Phil Neville‘s side perform anything like they have in recent weeks, they will have no chance.
Prediction: New York Red Bulls 1-2 Inter Miami.