Nashville vs Inter Miami Possible Starting Lineups for Concacaf Champions Cup 2024

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Nashville SC hosts Inter Miami and Lionel Messi in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup Round of 16 on Thursday night at GEODIS Park.

The two MLS Eastern Conference teams will renew their rivalry in North America’s biggest club competition, bringing Messi back to the venue where he was instrumental in Miami lifting their first ever silverware.

Gerard ‘Tata’ Martin’s Miami side have improved with every match in the young MLS 2024 campaign, opening with an emphatic 5-0 thrashing of Orlando City as well as a win over Real Salt Lake to tie the five-time MLS Cup. winners LA Galaxy. Messi and Suarez struggled against Orlando last time out and will be keen to carry that form into the Champions Cup.

On the other hand, it’s been a pretty lackluster start to the season for Gary Smith’s side. Nashville, which fell on penalties to Miami in the League Cup final last summer, opened its MLS season with two draws against the New York Red Bulls and Colorado Rapids. The Coyotes advanced to the Round of 16 after their 7-0 aggregate triumph over Moca FC of the Dominican Republic, while Miami enjoyed a first-round bye after winning the 2023 League Cup title.

Team news

The Herons have no new players in the infirmary following their dominant win over Orlando, but former Spain international full-back Jordi Alba reportedly missed training on Tuesday. His eventual absence would be a big blow for Martin, as he is already limited in defensive options following DeAndre Yedlin’s move to FC Cincinnati.

Should Alba miss out, Martino is likely to call upon Noah Allen to fill in at left-back.

Luis Suarez, Diego Gomez and Julian Gressel were all substituted long before the full-time whistle and should all feature from the jump on Thursday night.

Nashville SC predicted lineup (3-5-2): Willis; MacNaughton, Zimmerman, Maher; Moore, Davis, Godoy, Muyl, Shaffelburg; Boyd, Bunbury.

Inter Miami predicted lineup (4-3-3): Callender; Gressel, Aviles, Freire, Alba; Ruiz, Busquets, Gomez; Messi, Suarez, Taylor.

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