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  • Inter Miami Vs Real Salt Lake Tips And Predictions: Messi Magic Not Enough In MLS Opener

Inter Miami vs Real Salt Lake tips and predictions: Messi magic not enough in MLS opener

Major League Soccer returns on Wednesday night as Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami welcome last year's play-off contenders Real Salt Lake (Thurs 0100 GMT).

Major League Soccer returns on Wednesday night and with it so does the media circus that follows Lionel Messi everywhere he goes.

The Argentinian magician has a slightly different supporting cast this year with Uruguay legend Luis Suarez joining him in attack.

As per usual, all of the hype in the build-up to the big match at DRV PNK Stadium is about Leo, but the lack of attention on Real Salt Lake may allow them to sneak under the radar.

Playing away from home in MLS has always been a challenge but RSL are one of the more reliable sides. They’ve lost three of 15 on their travels, all by a 2-1 scoreline.

They’re extremely organised, competitive, and robust, and they have a major goal threat that can punish Miami’s defence, which could still be better.

It’s good to remind ourselves that even with Tata Martino’s squad and style, The Herons won six of 17 home games, only really turning it on for the Leagues Cup competition.




One of the things that stood out about games they lost was the absence of Jordi Alba and/or Sergio Busquets.

From a tactical point of view, Alba was crucial to the attack and Busquets was necessary to protect a less-than-perfect defence. Those things are still true and the latter may be unavailable on Wednesday.

On the other hand, this RSL side is relatively unchanged from last season and has retained their best players, and most importantly they are looking healthy.

Cristian Arango hit seven goals in 13 times last season and having a potential MLS top-scorer fit for the entire campaign will do wonders for this team.

Pablo Ruiz weighed in with four goals and four assists before injury kept him out for the final months of the season, so this is a dangerous team being overlooked due to Messi’s fanfare.

They put together a run of 22 goals in 14 consecutive away games largely without him last season and they looked dangerous in transition, which was a problem for Miami.


Team news

Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez will be fit to start and play the full 90 minutes if required, but Sergio Busquets has been training alone and is a doubt.

Christian Arango and Pablo Ruiz are fit again for Real Salt Lake who will likely line up in a 4-2-3-1 and look to cause problems on the break.


Key stats

- Inter Miami finished the 2023 MLS season on a six-game winless streak
- Inter Miami allowed 1.61 goals per game through their last 15 home games
- Real Salt Lake have lost three of 15 MLS away games, all by a 2-1 scoreline
- Real Salt Lake have scored in 19 of 20 MLS matches and their last 14 away


Suggested bets

Real Salt Lake +1 Asian handicap

Both teams to score

Over 3.5 goals


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