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Atlanta United welcome Inter Miami to the Mercedes Benz Stadium in what will be familiar ground for one player in particular. Venezuelan striker Josef Martínez, known as The King, returns to where he reigned supreme for six seasons. However, there is a new sheriff in town, World Cup winner Thiago Almada is leading assists in the MLS this season and is tied for the club record.
Will they face off tomorrow? Here are the Atlanta United vs Inter Miami predicted lineups.
Atlanta United vs Inter Miami predicted lineups and news
It is rare that Lionel Messi isn’t the main story going into an Inter Miami game, but with the Argentina captain having sat out his side’s World Cup Qualifier on Tuesday the assumption is that he will be well rested to play. Instead the focus is on Josef Martínez who returns to the club where he was a club hero, he is the all-time topscorer with 111 goals and he was the fastest man to reach 100 MLS goals doing so in just 125 games with the Georgia-based side. Tata Martino also returns a local legend, the Argentinian manager won the MLS Cup with Atlanta United in 2018 and was voted coach of the year.
Team news: Atlanta United
The home side have a clean bill of health and no suspensions to worry about, so they go into this game with a full strength side. Only new signing Jamal Thiaré is unable to feature having only just arrived from Le Havre this week. The main players to watch out for are Giorgos Giakoumakis and Thiago Almada, the goal and assist leaders respectively.
The Greek striker has netted 13 times already this season, but has drawn a blank in his last three home games, so will be desperate to score in front of the fans here. Almada has 22 goal involvements overall in the MLS, scoring nine times and setting up his teammates on 13 occassions. He has four assists in his last four MLS matches, and it is worth remembering that Atlanta have scored in every home game this season.
The main question marks are on the defensive side, Brad Guzan has conceded 8 goals the last two times he faced Lionel Messi on North American soil.
Atlanta predicted lineup: 4-2-3-1
Guzan- Lennon, Abram, Robinson, Wiley – Muyumba, Rossetto- Silva, Almada, Lobjanidze – Giakoumakis
Team news: Inter Miami
Tata Martino has allayed any fears of Messi needing more rest at Friday’s training-ground media appearance. “He is fine. But we will wait until after training today to make a decision,” said the 60-year-old coach. The real question for Inter Miami is how they manage the squad with so many games coming up in a short span of time.
— Edgardo Mazzey (@EdgardoMazzey85) August 16, 2021
Going forward there are plenty of options, but at the back Martino mulls over risking a tired Sergey Kryvtsov who played against Italy and England. Alternatively he can continue to trust young central defender Tomás Áviles, one of several South Americans signed in the summer transfer window. In midfield the Paraguayan Diego Gómez only managed 66 minutes against Peru and was unable to start against Venezuela, it is unlikely he is used from the off here.
Inter Miami predicted lineup: 4-3-3
Callender – Yedlin, Miller, Áviles, Alba – Arroyo, Busquets, Cremaschi – Messi, Campana, Farias
Will Campana play today?
The Ecuadorian striker didn’t travel to his native country for the recent round of World Cup Qualifiers, a surprising snub considering he has been in good form of late. While the Tri toiled away in South America, Campana had to take the lead role against Kansas City and applied himself in style. The former Wolves man netted twice to tally up five goals in his last five appearances for The Herons.
— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) September 15, 2023
On Friday the club announced they had handed him a new deal, which keeps the 23 year old in South Florida until 2027. The question for Martino is whether he keeps the young striker in his starting lineup or he turns to prolific scorer Josef Martínez, who as we have seen has a great record in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We think Campana will get the start, while Martínez will have minutes in front of former fans.
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