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New York City FC to win
Pick made on 08/11/2022 at 08:04 PM EST
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These are two sides are at very different ends of the table but with similar ambitions. Inter Miami would like to become a bit like New York City FC over time but it’s looking a bit difficult at the moment.
Inter Miami are still quite new to the league and this will be their 6th meeting. New York City FC will head into this match as the clear favorites despite suffering a loss in their last game. New York City FC have also scored 11 goals in those 5 games compared to Inter Miami’s 3. We can only see one winner in this match.
The previous meeting between these two sides ended with a fairly easy 2-0 victory for New York City FC. The game took place only two weeks ago with New York City FC taking charge of proceedings by scoring in the 18th minute, thanks to Maximiliano Moralez.
Valentín Castellanos, who recently left on loan, thought he’d scored the second of the evening for the defending champions but the goal was ruled offside. Inter Miami hit the post in the first half but hardly threatened the goal despite having 56% of the possession in the match. New York City FC only needed 44% and were in control of the game with Heber’s goal in the 75th minute making sure they took all three points with a clean sheet.
Inter Miami had to equalize twice in their last game against CF Montreal in a thrilling 2-2 tie. Gonzalo Higuain, who has shown some good form recently, scoring a hat-trick against FC Cincinnati a few gameweeks back, was one of the scoresheet once again. Emerson Rodriguez was also on target to give the side an important draw, which keeps their playoff hopes alive.
Things are really tight at the moment in the Eastern Conference with four teams on 30 points. What makes this even more interesting is that there’s only a difference of five points between the team in 5th and 12th. Every game going forward is going to be massive for Inter Miami.
They’ve spent a lot of money and have clearly got a lot of ambition with David Beckham in charge of things from the very top. Phil Neville has been under pressure to pick up results all year. Wins over San Jose Earthquakes and the fight shown against CF Montreal will uplift the spirit of the squad. Gonzalo Higuain has also shown some good form in recent weeks and they’ll need him to continue at this rate if they’re going to make it to the playoffs.
The win against San Jose Earthquakes was not only massive for the three points but because it gave the side a clean sheet but the tide doesn’t seem to have turned for Inter Miami. They’re still conceding far too many goals, which is forcing these comebacks on them. They’ve conceded 39 goals so far in the league and the team needs to get together as a group and make themselves hard to beat before thinking about attacking in numbers.
There’s nothing in the underlying numbers to suggest that they’ve been unfortunate here either with an expected goal against value of 35 for the season. The goals haven’t really come all season either with Gonzalo Higuain struggling to find the back of the net until recently. He’s been on a good scoring patch recently but they can’t afford to waste it by being so open. The chances of making the playoffs remain quite slim. Facing New York City FC next won’t make things any easier either.
It came as a big surprise to MLS viewers when New York City’s seven-match unbeaten streak came to an end in an exciting 2-3 loss to Columbus Crew. This will come as a slight worry for New York City FC, who drew the match prior to that one. There will be doubts about the team’s strengths after Valentin Castellanos’ departure and this tie against Inter Miami should help motivate the side to put any doubts about their credentials to bed.
Heber and his Brazilian teammates will have to take up some of the goalscoring burden
Brazilian forward, Heber, will have to show that he’s up to the task of putting the ball in the back of the net following Valentin Castellanos’ loan move to Spanish side, Girona. Heber has scored six goals so far this campaign with an expected goal value of 3.7.
That’s not good enough for the time being. His teammates Gabriel Pereira, Talles Magno and Thiago will have to chip in with more goals. The three players have scored 14 goals as a combo, which is one more than the number of goals Castellanos scored before moving out on loan.
The team still leads for goals scored in the Eastern Conference with 43 so far and will have to keep that up if they are to retain their MLS crown. Losing a star player can sometimes be a good thing because their goals get distributed more equally and they’ll have to look at the positives of this mood.
It looked like the MLS Cup was going to be a three-way tie between New York City FC, Los Angeles FC and Philadelphia Union this year but with the additions of Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini, Los Angeles FC look like they’re on a different tier to everyone else.
For what it’s worth, New York City have the best underlying numbers in the MLS by some distance. They’ll be well aware that simply having the biggest stars is no guarantee of success, having been home to quite a few in the past. They have an expected goal differential (expected goals – expected goals against) of +19.1, which suggests that they’re putting in the best performances of any side in the league. Los Angeles FC are the second best according to this metric but are quite a distance away with +13.6.
Not being the overriding favorites might just help take away some of the pressure that comes with defending the title. It’s on New York City FC to use this to their advantage.
Defensive midfielder Keyton Parks has been out since late June with surgery. There is no expected return date for the time being.
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|Inter Miami vs New York City FC
|DRV PNK Stadium
|Saturday, August 13 at 8 pm ET onwards
|How to watch
|ESPN+, DAZN, My33, UniMas and YES Network
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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