Preview: Inter Miami vs. Columbus Crew – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Major League Soccer clash between Inter Miami and Columbus Crew, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rock-bottom Inter Miami host MLS Eastern Conference playoff contenders Columbus Crew on Tuesday, as the two clubs clash in Fort Lauderdale.

While Inter responded to the impending arrival of new coach Tata Martino by ending their losing run at the weekend, the Crew have won five of their last six games to storm up the standings.

Match preview

Gerardo © Reuters

Continuing an influx of established names from the European and South American game, Inter Miami’s latest coup – bringing former Argentina and Barcelona boss Tata Martino to Florida – could potentially have the most immediate impact on their fortunes.

Currently down on their luck at the foot of the Eastern Conference standings, the imminent arrival of Martino – also an MLS Cup winner with Atlanta United – foreshadows those of Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi, and that holy trinity may be required to turn things around at the DRV PNK Stadium.

After a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Philadelphia Union saw interim head coach Javier Morales record three straight losses since taking the reins, Inter finally managed to stem the tide on Saturday, when they fought out a 1-1 home draw with Austin.

Ending a club-record seven-match losing streak, Josef Martinez found the net for a fifth time this term to secure a rare point for his side, and he will surely be looking forward to a reunion with Martino, who was his manager when the Venezuelan striker scored 31 regular-season goals in 2018, plus four more in the playoffs.

While such potency would be appreciated now, much of the Herons’ woes have come at the other end of the pitch, and they head into Tuesday’s contest having conceded 17 goals in their last eight league matches – all of which leaves them three points adrift of second-bottom Toronto.

Columbus Crew forward Christian Ramirez (17) celebrates his goal on June 18, 2023© Reuters

Inter Miami may have won just one away match in MLS this year, losing all of their other eight road fixtures, but it was against Columbus Crew that the Fort Lauderdale club took all three points in April, courtesy of a counter-attacking 2-1 victory.

The Crew, then, will be targeting revenge as well as valuable points to aid their playoff push, as they journey south this week.

In stark contrast to their ailing hosts, the Ohioan outfit are enjoying their best spell of the season, and they prolonged their unbeaten streak to seven games with Saturday’s 2-1 defeat of New York Red Bulls; Cucho Hernandez and Yaw Yeboah scoring in either half to secure another success.

Having dispatched Colorado, Charlotte, Chicago and Nashville last month, Wilfried Nancy‘s men now occupy fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings and will be hoping to keep their hot spell rolling throughout July.

Columbus also sit first in MLS for goals scored, averaging two per game to date, so the prospect of tackling a suspect Inter Miami defence should have Hernandez and playmaker Lucas Zelarayan relishing their trip to the Sunshine State.

Inter Miami Major League Soccer form:

Inter Miami form (all competitions):

Columbus Crew Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Inter Miami Head Coach Javier Morales giving instruction on June 24, 2023© Reuters

As he prepares for what could be his last match as interim head coach, before returning to an assistant role when Tata Martino takes the helm, Inter Miami’s Javier Morales will be without several players.

In addition to long-term absentees Franco Negri, Jean Mota and Corentin Jean, centre-back Ryan Sailor remains doubtful due to a hamstring injury, while Kamal Miller and veteran full-back DeAndre Yedlin are both still on international duty at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Leading scorer Josef Martinez is expected to continue up front, supported by Rodolfo Pizarro; Ecuador striker Leonardo Campana provides another option should Morales opt to freshen up Inter’s strikeforce.

Aiding their pursuit of another win in midweek, Columbus Crew have far fewer absences to deal with, and Will Sands (knee) is set to be the visitors’ only man missing through injury.

Lucas Zelarayan – who has registered eight goals and seven assists in 17 MLS appearances this term – should therefore operate behind a front two for the Black and Gold, with Christian Ramirez and Cucho Hernandez likely to be paired once again.

Inter Miami possible starting lineup:
Callender; Taylor, Kryvtsov, Fray, Allen; Ruiz, Arroyo; Cremaschi, Pizarro, Robinson; Martinez

Columbus Crew possible starting lineup:
Schulte; Zawadzki, Moreira, Amundsen; Farsi, Nagbe, Matan, Yeboah; Zelarayan; Ramirez, Hernandez

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We say: Inter Miami 1-1 Columbus Crew

Despite starting favourites to take three points home from Miami, Columbus Crew have won just two from nine on the road so far in 2023 – conceding plenty of goals in the process. So, after a spirited performance helped Inter pick up a point at the weekend, they can defy expectation and repeat that feat on Tuesday.

How to watch

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Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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