Nashville SC search for their first win of the new season on Sunday afternoon when they welcome Inter Miami, who tasted victory on match-day two, to Nissan Stadium (1pm ET; TV: Live on ESPN).
Will it be another win for Phil Neville’s men? Or can the hosts build on back-to-back draws? Read our Nashville vs Inter Miami predictions for this preview with concluding betting picks.
A solid start from both
Without setting the world alight, Nashville have made a steady start to the new campaign. They kicked the 2021 season off by drawing 2-2 against Cincinnati, while they fought back from two goals down to share the spoils against Montreal on match-day two. There is plenty to work on, especially defensively after showcasing some sloppy defending in each of their first games, but solid foundations have been laid. Their fighting spirit that was evident for much of last season, remains intact.
Sunday’s hosts, despite losing first time out, have also made a reasonably sturdy start to the new campaign. They were only narrowly beaten by LA Galaxy, though defensive frailties were evident, but they showed plenty of attacking nous to come from a goal down and claim all three points against a Philadelphia outfit that won the Supporter’s Shield in the east last year. New manager Phil Neville has no shortage of talent at his disposal, and if things click, we could see lots more from Inter Miami this term.
Encouraging numbers produced
It is early days, far too early to draw any useful conclusions, but it must be said, though they haven’t picked up a win, Nashville have posted some encouraging figures over the first few games. Against Cincinnati, Gary Smith’s men created no less than 3.4 expected goals. They gave away a slightly worrying 1.8, though that still left them with a positive xG difference of +1.6.
If they can produce something like that on a regular basis, then they will be picking plenty of wins, that’s for sure. On match-day two, the Nashville forward line delivered in terms of creativity once again, delivering 2.5 expected goals for. On that occasion, they only conceded 0.8. Sunday’s hosts have also been hugely dominant in terms of shots in each of their opening two encounters, registering a combined total of 50, conceding a combined total of 21. If Smith’s boys can continue to hit such heights in that department, then their first win of the season won’t be far off.
Goals on the cards?
Inter haven’t been as strong in terms of expected goals in both of their matches, but their opening effort against LA Galaxy suggests that they can certainly go to Nissan Stadium and get involved offensively, while their efficiency in front of goal last time out, despite only creating 0.9 xG was pleasing. Against the Galaxy, Phil Neville’s men produced 2.8 expected goals for, which is never a total to be sneered at.
Interestingly, when the pair met last season, which they did on three occasions, Inter Miami failed to score. In fact, only one of the three matches contained more than a single goal. However, that was then, and this is now. Another low-scoring affair could quite easily be in the offing, but the way each team has started the campaign, goals look likely.
Over line looks tasty
After two impressive attacking displays at home, the hosts are naturally fancied to pick up their first win of the campaign, though looking at the moneyline, they seem slightly short. Their attacking efforts have been pleasing, but they are up against an Inter Miami side that looks stronger than the one they faced last term.
The better option is ‘over 2.5 goals’ at around -110 with the online bookies. We are talking about two teams that have created a rather positive offensive impression over the first fortnight of the 2021 season. Between them, the pair have scored a combined total of eight goals, scoring at least twice each in 100% of their fixtures. Moreover, they are both yet to keep a clean sheet.
The expected goals numbers that we’ve seen so far bode well for overs bettors. The home side is averaging 2.95 expected goals for at present, while Inter Miami are averaging 1.85. Such numbers don’t exactly point towards a game that will be devoid of scoring opportunities. Such numbers, combined with shots for averages of 13 and 25, also suggest that there may just be a slither of value to be had by wagering that the goals arrive while the lines are positioned as they are currently. So our Nashville vs Inter Miami predictions’ verdict for this MLS game preview and betting pick is: