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Here we look at the Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo predicted lineups ahead of their US Open Cup Final on Wednesday night. Both sides are in-form and vying for a precious piece of silverware. That heightens the potential for drama and entertainment, but the fitness of Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi remains a burning issue.
Will he play? It seems touch and go, but it may not all be doom and gloom for the Herons’ faithful.
Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo predicted lineups and news
The big day for both teams is finally here, although Inter Miami have been pushing for the playoffs, coach Tata Martino has made no secret of his preference for this tournament. In the case of Houston, while they haven’t secured a playoff spot they are in the driving seat, and have full focus on this showpiece game.
Both sides have had a packed schedule since the semifinals, the Dynamo have played six games in the last month, while Inter have faced seven sides since the epic win over Cincinnati.
Team news: Inter Miami
The major question mark is over Lionel Messi, but there are other injury doubts for the hosts who head into only their second ever final. Paraguayan international Diego Gómez has returned to training after being injured on international duty, but he is unlikely to start.
Martino has to decide if he goes for teenage talent Benjamin Cremaschi, or relies on the experience of Victor Ulloa who has been used sparingly since returning from injury. There is also the possibility of another homegrown athlete getting a chance in the middle, David Ruiz scored his third senior goal for the club in Sunday’s draw at Orlando.
Inter Miami predicted lineup: 4-3-3
Callender – Yedlin, Áviles, Miller, Alba – Cremaschi, Busquets, Arroyo – Taylor, Campana, Messi
Team news: Houston Dynamo
Houston have been a versatile side under Ben Olsen, and have been able to rotate players throughout the year without it affecting their charge for the playoffs. This cane make it difficult when looking at the predicted lineups, however some names we can be sure to see on the starting XI, namely in midfield.
Captain and DP (Designated Player) Héctor Herrera has a huge task on his hands if he is to stop Messi and ruin Inter Miami’s party at the DRV PNK Stadium. Panamanian playmaker Adalberto Carrasquilla was sorely missed while on Gold Cup duty earlier in the summer, and his ball carrying will be vital.
The main doubt for the travelling team is Moroccan forward Amine Bassi who has a lower-body injury. If he doesn’t make it in time, expect to see Luis Caicedo in the middle.
Houston Dynamo predicted lineup: 4-2-3-1
Clark – Dorsey, Sviatchenko, Micael, Escobar – Herrera, Artur – Carrasquilla, Bassi, Quiñones – Baird
Will Messi play in the US Open Cup final?
When Lionel Messi sat out the World Cup qualifier in La Paz, everybody assumed it was a precaution and he would be back playing a few days later. After all, Messi is super human and never gets injured – at least that’s what it seemed. Yet time waits for no man, and at 36 years old the body doesn’t recover as quickly as before.
Since arriving back on US soil, the South American star has played just 37 of a possible 270 minutes, throwing in doubt his availability for this game. More question marks were raised when he wasn’t seen training with the rest of the team on Tuesday in a session that was partially open to the press.
Tata Martino was clear in his press conference on Tuesday afternoon, “If it wasn’t a final, we wouldn’t take any risk.” But this is a final and as such Inter Miami’s medical staff are doing everything they can to try and get the World Cup winner fit in time.
🗣️ More of Tata Martino’s response when I asked what is it that Lionel Messi needs to get back to 100 percent:
“He doesn’t need surgery or anything like that. It’s just a matter of how much time the player needs to rest in order to play the next game.
“If it wasn’t a final, we… pic.twitter.com/xesNGSkbld
— Franco Panizo (@FrancoPanizo) September 26, 2023
It is Martino who will have the final word, and when asked on the possibility of Lionel Messi being on the team sheet from the go, he answered firmly “I don’t rule it out”.
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