Phil Neville under growing pressure; New York City target third straight win

The MLS returns to a normal schedule this weekend as Phil Neville and his Inter Miami side look to build some much-needed momentum.

With the regular season approaching its half-way mark, New England Revolution lead the way with 33 points.

They have a one-point lead over Seattle Sounders for the Supporters' Shield and lead Nashville by seven points in the Eastern Conference. Second through seventh place in the East are separated by four points.

With 32 points, Seattle has a two-point lead in the Western Conference. However, second-placed Sporting KC have a game in hand and also enjoy a three-goal advantage over the Sounders.

LA Galaxy are five points behind Seattle, and the third through sixth placed teams are separated by four points in the West.

Phil Neville's team gaining confidence

For the third time this season and second time this month, Inter Miami face Montreal. Inter picked up a 1-1 draw against the Union last weekend and look to grab some momentum and confidence as they remain at home this week.

Montreal won 2-0 in Miami and 1-0 in New Jersey against the Herons this season. Bjorn Johnsen scored both goals in the first game, and Mathieu Chonieire scored in game two. Montreal have outshot Inter 28-11 in the two games.

The difference for Miami this time around is they have Robbie Robinson and Gonzalo Higuain fully healthy. They have also added goalie Nick Marsman and defender Kieran Gibbs who will be playing their third games for the club.

Marsman had a nightmare debut with five goals allowed against New England but surrendered just one in Saturday's draw.

Phil Neville has stuck with a 4-2-3-1 formation but now has some depth and a bench that included Kelvin Leerdam and Indiana Vassilev. Blaise Matuldi didn't play the last game and will likely return to the team.

The Herons are 21/20 to win at home with Planet Sport Bet. Montreal are priced at 9/4, and a draw is 37/13.

NYCFC can leapfrog Crew with victory

Coming off a 5-0 thrashing of Orlando City last weekend, Ronny Deila and New York City FC host Columbus Crew. The Pigeons enter the game in sixth place in the East, one point behind the Crew but also with a game in hand. 

Thanks to the 5-0 win over Orlando, NYCFC leads the conference with a +11 goal differential.

This will be NYCFC's third straight home game and their second in a row at Yankee Stadium. The Crew haven't played at the home of the New York Yankees since 2019 with their road games against NYCFC the last two seasons at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

Columbus has a pair of 2-1 wins against NYCFC this season, one at home and one on the road. But they will be without Gyasi Zardes and Liam Fraser, who are still at the Gold Cup.

The Crew switched to a 4-4-2 formation to beat Atlanta United last weekend but still struggled to score in open play.

The Yankee Stadium pitch is five yards narrower than most MLS pitches and the smallest allowed by FIFA rules. NYCFC plays a high-pressing game at home to utilise the field dimensions to their advantage, and they forced Orlando into numerous mistakes and turnovers last week. 

Ball control will be key to this one, especially the midfield battle of the Crew's Lucas Zelarayan and Darlington Nagbe against NYCFC's Jesus Medina and Keaton Parks.

NYCFC are the home favourites with Planet Sport Bet at 4/9. The Crew are 21/4, and the draw is 18/5.

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