Inter Miami play host to Eastern Conference rivals New York City FC, and with stars Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi’s statuses up in the air, head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino is left with a headache for his team selection.
The Herons nearly clawed back into the US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo, but came up just short at DRV PNK Stadium.
Martino was unable to call upon Messi and Alba due to injury, but the likes of Josef Martinez and Facundo Farias will look to lead the way for the south Florida side in their search for a playoff spot.
Here’s how the Herons could line up against NYCFC…
GK: Drake Callender – Although he had an underwhelming performance against Houston, he’ll look to get back on track against NYC.
RB: DeAndre Yedlin – Wasn’t his best showing against the Dynamo, but the Herons don’t have many options at right-back other than potentially playing Tomas Aviles out of position.
CB: Tomas Aviles – After not featuring in the US Open Cup final, the young defender will hope to be included in the XI at home.
CB: Kamal Miller – The experienced guy might be expected to start back-to-back games in the backline.
LB: Noah Allen – Like right-back, Miami is looking rather slim in the left-back department due to injuries, so the 19-year-old will be called upon again.
CM: Dixon Arroyo – The veteran midfielder is expected to start alongside Sergio Busquets once again for the Herons.
CM: Sergio Busquets – As long as he’s fit after playing another full game, he’ll be expected to control the middle of the park.
CM: David Ruiz – Impressive when called upon, and he’ll likely get another chance from the jump after Benja Cremaschi played nearly the full 90 vs Houston.
RW: Facundo Farias – With Messi looking unlikely to play, the talented youngster looks set to get more minutes out wide for Miami.
ST: Josef Martinez – He nearly willed Miami back into the US Open Cup final and should get the opportunity to start up front.
LW: Robert Taylor – After being taken off at halftime, he should still be fresh enough to feature from the start.
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