By Braden Chalker
Inter Miami shocked the Columbus Crew in their first meeting of the season in April, winning 2-1 thanks to a brace from Leonardo Campana. Since then, however, the two clubs have taken completely different directions: Miami has bottomed out in the Eastern Conference while Columbus has climbed up to fourth place.
The Herons avoided defeat last time out, drawing 1-1 with Austin FC, but are still bottom in the East with 16 points from 19 games. The point could prove pivotal in their playoff chase, which at the moment seems almost mathematically impossible. But their luck could change with the arrival of Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets, who look set to make their debuts in the League Cup match against Cruz Azul of Liga MX.
Messi and Busquets are joined by new head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, who will take over for Javier Morales on an interim basis once his work visa is approved. In Miami’s tie with Austin, forward Josef Martinez scored his fifth goal of the season (two goals in three games) and is warming up at just the right moment. 18-year-old Benjamin Cremaschi has three assists this season in 15 appearances.
The Crew continued their winning streak last time out with a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. Goals from Juan ‘Cucho’ Herandez and Yaw Yeboah were enough to knock out the NYRB as the win saw their point tally rise to 34 from 20 plays.
The Ohio club’s excellent season has been influenced by Lucas Zelarayan, who has eight goals and six assists this season, including that incredible midfield strike to help his team defeat the Chicago Fire. Hernandez has 10 goals involved while Cristian Ramirez has scored seven times.
Miami and Columbus have met five times previously, with the Herons winning three times and Columbus twice. Will Miami extend their series lead or will the Crew match their series record?
Where to see Inter Miami vs Columbus Crew on TV channel/live stream?
When is kick-off? 7:30pm EST
Where is it played? DRV PINK Stadium
TV channel/live stream? mls Season Pass on Apple TV
What time does TV coverage start? 7:15pm EST
Inter Miami team news
The Herons still have a lengthy injury report, which has certainly played its part in how their season has unfolded thus far. Forward Corentin Jean’s knee injury has still sidelined him through the end of this month, while defender Franco Negri is out for the remainder of the 2023 season after suffering a torn left ACL against Philadelphia Union.
In midfield, Miami has two long-term setbacks with Jean Mota struggling with an LCL injury while Gregore picked up a Lisfranc injury in early March. Gregore is expected to return to action in September, but Mota will be out until November.
Noah Allen and Christopher McVey will continue to assume left-back responsibilities in Negri’s absence. Cremaschi, Dixon Arroyo and David Ruiz will be called in midfield and will have opportunities to impress.
Interim Javier Morales still heads the interim team until Martino’s work visa is approved. The Herons’ last five matches have not gone exactly to plan, with their only win coming against opposition USL Birmingham Legion, 1-0, which saw them book their place in the US Open Cup semi-finals this season. year against FC Cincinnati. The Herons are currently on an eight-game MLS streak and face a tough task to break that streak against Columbus.
News from the Columbus Crew team
The Crew have a significantly shorter injury report with only one player sidelined at the moment. Left-back Will Sands suffered a torn left cruciate in late April and will miss the rest of the season, just as he was becoming a mainstay in the Colubmus XI.
In Sands’ absence, Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy will be looking to rely on Jimmy Medranda, Yaw Yeboah and Malte Amundsen, who was brought on board after it was revealed Sands would sit out the rest of the campaign.
Columbus’ last five games couldn’t be more different than Miami’s. The Crew have won four of their last five games, beating Nasvhille and Charlotte, 2-0 and 4-2 respectively. The lone tie came against NYFC on the road at Yankee Stadium.
Miami will be hoping to build on what was a better performance at home against Austin, where they were 2.03 xG and had 18 shots on target. The Crew, however, were more clinical in front of goal, scoring two out of six shots against the Red Bulls creating just 1.06 xG.
The Green and Black challenged Miami last week, and it doesn’t get any easier with the arrival of Columbus in the city. The Cremaschi, Martinez and Campana trio (if they play together at the same time) could help Miami create many chances but they will have to be wary of the experience and quality that the Crew has ahead of them. The Crew may prove too much for Miami to handle.
Prediction: Inter Miami 1 – Columbus Crew 3
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Inter Miami vs Columbus Crew – MLS Preview: TV Channel/Live Stream, Team News & Predictions .