Nashville SC demonstrated on Wednesday that Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami can be stopped with the correct tactical touch, as they held the revamped squad to a scoreless draw.
In reality, however, it required a tactical masterpiece, the likes of which many Major League Soccer teams either wouldn’t want to attempt or be equipped to succeed at. Top clubs like LAFC won’t want to take Gary Smith’s tactic of “parking the bus” and waiting for opportunities on the counterattack.
On the other hand, the defending champions will want to try their luck against Inter Miami on Sunday in California.
While Nashville’s strategy was admirable in that it resulted in a valuable away point, LAFC will be playing in front of their home fans and trying to chase the top spot in the Western Conference, so winning will be their top priority.
Stats for the LAFC vs. Inter Miami game
The date will be September 3rd, 2023, on a Sunday.
There will be a 10 p.m. ET / 3 a.m. BST / 12 p.m. AEST (Monday, September 4) start time.
Where: Los Angeles, California’s BMO Stadium
Authorized: Ted Unkel
Inter Miami 0-2, LAFC 2 in their last MLS match on March 12, 2022.
Analysis, odds, and pick for LAFC vs. Inter Miami.
Preferred Outcome: Draw (+270) on the Moneyline
Inter Miami -0.5 (-135) on the handicap
Forecast: Los Angeles Football Club 1–1 Inter Miami
LAFC are even-money home favorites, making Inter Miami clear underdogs for the first time since Lionel Messi’s arrival.
Goals are predicted for this matchup between two of the league’s most potent offensive sides, despite Messi being held without a goal contribution for the first time since joining his new club.
Best Bet: Under 2.5 Goals in LAFC vs. Inter Miami.
+120 odds at BetMGM.
There are a few elements at play that might put Inter Miami in another tight battle.
First, the strategy for attacking Inter Miami has been published, at least in part. It’s obvious that physicality can disrupt Tata Martino’s side, and their vulnerability on the counter will reassure their opponents that their long stretches of defensive bunkering don’t completely lobotomize their offense.
In addition, this LAFC squad isn’t as explosive as previous editions. Since Carlos Vela is now past his prime, Steve Cherundolo has put his faith in a rock-solid defense to handle the load. Denis Bouanga now commands an offense that features a slew of contributors rather than a select few stars. There will be goals, but LAFC will focus on keeping Inter Miami at bay before attacking.
And here’s the kicker: Giorgio Chiellini didn’t play in the last game, a 2-1 loss to Charlotte FC, since he was sitting on the bench. Chiellini has been rested four times this season, not counting his time out with a leg injury; in his three previous appearances after a rest, LAFC went undefeated and allowed only one goal. Chiellini’s resurgence is a major concern for his opponents.
Proposition wager on Los Angeles FC vs. Inter Miami
Double chance for Inter and Miami.
Odds: -135 (BetMGM)
As their most recent match demonstrated, LAFC are not the unstoppable force they once were. This season, they’ve lost two home league games to Houston and Vancouver, both of which are good but not great teams.
Both times Nashville played Inter Miami, they played brilliantly but were only able to salvage a tie. Getting three points against Inter Miami would require a near-perfect performance from any team in this league, therefore we’ll take advantage of this unusual situation in which the club is a slight underdog.
Channel and live stream for LAFC vs. Inter Miami