Inter Miami look to add to their tally on Saturday evening, as they play host to Toronto FC at DRV PNK Stadium. Can the hosts register a fourth win in six matches? Or will the visitors bounce back after a poor run of results?
This will be just the second time that the two franchises have come up against each other. The only other meeting took place back in 2020, when Toronto won by two goals to one in front of a home crowd.
Inter Miami – On the right track
For some time, Phil Neville’s men looked in trouble. They were losing far too often and were finding it very tough to get positive results. Fortunately, the men in white have turned things around, and in terms of wins, it seems as though the floodgates have opened somewhat. Inter Miami has won three of its last five in Major League Soccer.
On their own patch, the hosts have certainly tightened up. They may be without a win in two at DRV PNK Stadium, but they’ve lost none of their last four, scoring seven in the process, which incidentally is more than they’d scored in six prior to that.
Expected Line-Up: Marsman – Makoun, Figal, Gonzalez – Leerdam, Gregore, Matuidi, Gibbs – Morgan, Higuain, Robinson.
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Toronto FC – Improvement required
While the hosts have improved of late, the Toronto boys continue to move in the wrong direction. It’s now five matches since Javier Pérez’s men picked up a win, while they’ve won just one of their last eight. They have won two of their last four on the road, which is slightly more positive, but a lack of defensive solidity is a clear worry ahead of this game.
Saturday’s visitors struggle to keep teams at bay, and it is this lack of defensive sturdiness that is why they’re currently at the foot of the Western Conference. Toronto has conceded more goals than any other team in the west this season, shipping a whopping 41 goals in 20 matches. Defensive improvement is most certainly required.
Expected Line-Up: Bono – Laryea, Gonzalez, Zavaleta, Lawrence – Delgado, Bradley – Osorio, Pozuelo, Soteldo – Achara.
Expert Pick #1 – Inter Miami to Score Over 1.5 Goals @-105
The goals haven’t always been flowing as far as Inter Miami are concerned this term, but this must be viewed as a huge opportunity for the home attackers to fill their boots. Toronto’s defense on the road has been virtually non-existent. The visitors have surrendered no fewer than 27 goals in 11 travelling fixtures, conceding two or more in five of their last seven.
In addition, the Canadian franchise has conceded an average of 2.15 expected goals per 90 on the road, which bodes well for a home side that has averaged 1.63 in their last three at this venue.
Expert Pick #2 – Inter Miami to Win @+105
Just like this is an opportunity for the hosts to hit their stride offensively, it is also a huge opportunity for them to put another valuable three points on the board. The visitors are there for the taking when they play away from home, as many teams have found out.
While Miami haven’t been amazing at home, their efforts have been far sturdier than anything that Toronto has produced away from home. The hosts have picked up almost double the points at home than Toronto have on the road, while they’ve bettered them in many other areas too. Neville’s men have an average expected goal difference of -0.04 on their own patch, which is nothing to write home about, but it’s far better than Toronto’s average of -1.01 on the road. The hosts have also comfortably bettered their opponents in terms of xG in three of their last four at home.
The visitors have only bettered their opponents in terms of xG in one out of 11 on the road this campaign.
Expert Pick #3 – Robbie Robinson to Score @+195
Robbie Robinson’s season has been a bit stop and start thanks to a few minor injuries, but the forward is now fit and he looked sharp when netting against Chicago Fire last time out. Three goals in seven starts is a pleasing return, and if he’s in the line-up here, which seems likely given Miami’s need for regular goals, he isn’t likely to be without chances. Against a weak opposing defence, the player who averages 0.49 expected goals for, as well as 3.4 shots per 90, looks good odds to find the net.
Toronto did pick up a few pleasing away-day results not that long ago, but don’t be fooled, they’re very weak at the back, so much so that this really is a gilt-edged chance for Inter Miami to record a fourth win in six matches. The hosts have started to get going in recent weeks and can get the job done here.