Atlanta United vs Inter Miami
The stakes are at an all-time high for resurgent Inter Miami as they head to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to take on Atlanta United in a must-win Major League Soccer game.
After back-to-back league wins over Seattle Sounders and Nashville by a combined score of 6-0 toward the end of August, Atlanta United’s form has dwindled, with consecutive winless MLS games (D1, L1) in the build-up to this fixture calling for caution. However, their hopes of reaching the playoffs in the Eastern Conference look safe and sound, as they start this round ten points clear of 10th-placed Chicago Fire. Gonzalo Pineda’s men would like to return to winning ways but cannot take anything for granted after alternating between winning (2) and losing (2) in their last four MLS home outings. But they can draw confidence from winning three consecutive league meetings with Inter at home turf since a 2-1 defeat in September 2020.
In the meantime, Inter Miami’s bid to secure their first-ever MLS playoffs qualification looks livelier than ever after an eye-catching run of three wins in their last four league games (D1) took them within a six-point distance of 9th-placed DC United. Inter’s rise to stardom coincided with the blockbuster arrival of Lionel Messi, but the Argentine wizard hasn’t boarded the plane for this trip. With Messi on the team, Gerardo Martino’s lads have won two consecutive MLS games away from home, putting five goals past New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles in the process. For comparison, they had won only once on their 11 MLS travels before signing Messi this season (D1, L9)!