Heading into a rivalry match with Orlando City, Inter Miami faces several injury issues. Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba have already been ruled out of the match due to fatigue. The duo was removed from the first half of Miami’s 4-0 victory over Toronto FC and could even be held out of the U.S. Open Cup Final just around the corner on Sept. 27. Diego Gomez has been absent since being injured on international duty with Paraguay, and there are also reports that Sergio Busquets may be held out of the rivalry match.
With a final coming up soon, it’s understandable why Martino would make some of these choices. However, D.C. United’s loss means that Miami is only five points away from a playoff position as the season winds down. Prioritizing upcoming matches comes with the territory for Martino, but when the Herons are in the running for everything, how does he decide when his main players should feature?
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Sunday, Sept. 24 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, Florida
- TV: FS1 | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
- Odds: Orlando City -127; Draw +285; Inter Miami +310 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Orlando City: After losing to NYCFC midweek, Orlando can clinch a playoff spot with a point in this match, and few things would feel better than doing it against their in-state rivals. While they won’t get to face Messi for the second time this season, it does give the Lions a better shot at getting the job done and securing a playoff spot.
Inter Miami: Without Messi, it’s tough to project how Miami will line up, as Martino could go in any direction. But even with rotation, two players he could lean on are Facundo Farias and Leonardo Campana. Along with Robert Taylor, they have made up a significant part of the attacking supporting cast for the team, and Farias fills some of the creative void that is lost when Messi doesn’t play.
Everything has been coming up in Miami’s favor and this match will be no different as even a chippy start to play won’t be enough to stop the Herons from picking up more ground in the playoff race. Pick: Orlando City 1, Inter Miami 2