At DRV PNK Stadium, Inter Miami hosts New York City FC on Saturday in the MLS (1.30pm ET), as both looks to establish themselves as serious play-off contenders. Will either team be able to keep their current form going having both recorded convincing wins last time out? This preview with its predictions and betting picks should hopefully answer that question.
Just a few weeks ago, it looked as though Inter Miami was down and out. They’d lost six on the spin and were seemingly heading away from the playoff places at speed. However, Phil Neville’s men finally said enough is enough and rallied, so much so that they’re now just five points shy of the coveted top seven and thus a place in the postseason is no longer entirely beyond their reach.
After beating Toronto FC at home, the Miami boys took their form to new level, thrashing Cincinnati by five goals to one. They now look to make it three from three in front of a home crowd. Unfortunately, they did come up short during the week, losing on the road at Atlanta, but back on home soil, they really ought to fancy themselves.
Much like the hosts, NYCFC arrives here off the back of a resounding victory. They too had been struggling to pick up maximum points, going six games without a win, but that didn’t stop them doing the business last time out, as they hammered D.C. United in front of a home crowd, scoring six goals on route to an easy win. Having gone four games without a goal, Valentin Castellanos, who is NYCFC’s biggest goal threat, returned to form with a first-half brace, and if Saturday’s visitors can keep the Argentinian in the mood, then they’ve got every chance of staying in the play-off spots.
Mixed bag at home
For Inter Miami, things have often gone well at home, but they’ve also gone badly far too often for a team that wants to be in the postseason. They’ve won seven, tied two and lost seven. Scoring 25 goals in 16 home games is respectable but conceding in 32 is not. Therein lies the problem.
Inter Miami’s best offensive work has been carried out at DRV PNK Stadium, with 74% of their goals coming on home soil, but they’ve found it tough to stop their opponents, conceding an average of two per game, which just won’t do. Fortunately, Neville’s boys arrive here off the back of two strong results in their own backyard, scoring eight goals and conceding only one in the process. Yes, those victories came at the expense of the weakest teams in the division, but the way that Saturday’s hosts got the job done was pleasing and at the very least, should mean that they come here feeling confident.
Away-day problems for NYCFC
The visitors do come here off the back of two wins, though each of those wins came at Yankee Stadium, which is where most of Ronny Deila’s men best stuff has been produced. On the road, the boys in sky blue have struggled to get going this term, especially of late. The visitors have won none of their last four away from home, two of which they’ve lost, while they’ve won just one of their last 12 travelling fixtures in MLS. Such a record certainly won’t strike fear into the hearts of the hosts, nor will the fact that NYCFC has scored just two goals in 360 minutes of away-day soccer recently, scoring just one in three.
Hosts in for revenge
This will be the second time that this pair have met each other this season, with New York City emerging victorious from the reverse fixture back in the middle of August. On their own patch, NYCFC made light work of picking up a routine 2-0 win. They will be looking for more of the same on the road, and they may now be catching Saturday’s hosts at the right time.
Spirits will have been up in the home camp following last weekend’s high-scoring win, but the confidence gained from that victory may be gone after their disappointing mid-week defeat at the hands of Atlanta United.
Take a chance on the hosts
If we look at the Eastern Conference standings, then it would be easy to conclude that NYCFC is the better of the two teams, and that may be true, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that a home win is worth siding with ahead of this fixture. Firstly, the Miami boys are coming off the back of two of their best home results of the campaign, not to mention of their best attacking performances. Secondly, playing away from home really hasn’t suited the visitors this season, especially not in recent weeks, where they’ve been outfought and have struggled immensely to get going in the final third.
Moreover, there’s simply not enough between the numbers produced at home by Inter Miami and those recorded on the road by NYCFC. The visitors have a modest expected goal difference of +0.07 on their travels. The hosts boast an xG difference of -0.11 at home, which isn’t great, but it shows that there’s far lesser disparity, at least in terms of chances created and conceded, than the current odds suggest. On this basis, a small play on the home win, with the insurance that ‘Draw No Bet’ provides, offers bettors some real value.
So these are our Inter Miami vs NYCFC predictions and betting picks for this preview: