Short-handed Union and Inter Miami face off at Subaru Park

Image Credit: Philadelphia Union

After a week of no action, the Philadelphia Union will return to play this Saturday, June 15th, as league leaders Inter Miami come to town. This is the first time that the two sides have faced off since Inter Miami’s dominating 4-1 win at Subaru Park during last year’s Leagues Cup. The Union are in the midst of a sixth-match winless streak at home, while Inter Miami are coming off of a 3-3 draw against St. Louis City. This match will for sure be an interesting one, as both squads have players that are unavailable for international duty. 

Image Credit: Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami History

Inter Miami and the Union have faced off a total of ten times across all competitions in history, with the Union winning five matches, Inter Miami winning three, and two of the matches ending in a draw. In MLS play last year, both of the home teams were victorious, as Inter Miami won 2-0 at DRV PNK Stadium (now Chase Stadium), and the Union won the match at Subaru Park by a score of 4-1.

The two squads have played a total of six matches at Subaru Park, with the Union winning three matches, Inter Miami winning two, and there was also one draw. Matchups between these two sides have usually had some excitement in them, and supporters of both sides will have to continue that on Saturday night. 

Image Credit: Philadelphia Union

Inter Miami CF’s Season So Far

Tata Martino is in his first full season with Inter Miami after taking over in July last season, and things have been going well for the Argentine manager in the MLS. Martino’s side is currently first in both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters Shield race, with a record of 10-5-3 in 18 matches.

Inter Miami has scored 42 goals in 18 matches played, which is an average of 2.33 goals per game. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are leading the squad in both goals and assists and are the main reason that Miami are playing the way they are. Both Suarez and Messi have 12 goals on the season, which puts them in third and fourth in the Golden Boot race. Messi has 13 assists in addition to his 12 goals, proving that he is the squad’s most valuable member.

The big-name players joining Miami have been crucial to their success, and it will be interesting to see how they play in the upcoming matches without them. 

Image Credit: Philadelphia Union

Preview By The Numbers

Current Form- Last 5 GamesPhiladelphia Union: L, W, D, D, DInter Miami CF: D, W, W, L, D
Expected Goals:Philadelphia Union27.9 xGInter Miami CF: 29.8 xG
Total Goals Scored:Philadelphia Union27 goals scoredInter Miami CF: 42 goals scored
Expected Conceded Goals:Philadelphia Union20.2 xGAInter Miami CF: 27 xGA
Goals Conceded:Philadelphia Union23 goals concededInter Miami CF: 27 goals conceded
Top Goal-Scorers:Philadelphia Union: Gazdag – 10, Carranza – 6, Uhre – 5Inter Miami CF: Suarez – 12, Messi – 12, Campana – 4
Top Assists Leaders:Philadelphia Union: Sullivan – 5, Wagner/McGlynn – 4Inter Miami CF: Messi – 13, Gressel – 6, Busquets/Suarez – 5

Player Availability

This match will be different from other matches that these two clubs have played, as some players are off at the Euros and the Copa America, so player availability is not at one hundred percent. For the Union, players such as Daniel Gazdag, Damion Lowe, and Jose Martinez are off playing for their countries, while Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Matias Rojas will be out for Inter Miami. These players don’t even include the players who are injured and suspended, so the lists will be even bigger. They are as follows:

Philadelphia Union – Andre Blake (Injury), Isaiah LeFlore (Injury), Jack Elliott (Suspension), Daniel Gazdag (International Duty), Damion Lowe (International Duty), Jose Martinez (International Duty)

Inter Miami – Facundo Farias (Injury), Nicolas Freire (Injury), Diego Gomez (Injury), Federico Redondo (Injury), Lionel Messi (International Duty), Matias Rojas (International Duty), Luis Suarez (International Duty.)

Image Credit: Philadelphia Union

Keys to the Game

1.) Find some Home Rhythm

The last couple of matches at Subaru Park have not gone the way that the Union would have liked, as they have not picked up a win in their home since March 30th against Minnesota United. Things are for sure going rocky, and the Union need to find the form they know they can be at home if they want to climb up the Eastern Conference table. Subaru Park used to be a fortress, but it no longer is. Finding some rhythm will be a key factor in the success of the season, and now will be a good time to do so, especially since the Union only has two home matches in their next five matches overall. 

2.) Next-Man-Up Mentality

The next-man-up mentality is something that will be crucial for P, as Philadelphia showed in the social media video that was posted. With some main players going on international duty, it will be up to the guys who don’t get playing time to help bring the Union some success. Players such as Jeremy Rafanello, Jesus Bueno, Tai Baribo and more might be seeing more minutes than usual throughout the next couple of matches. Playing well will help boost their confidence, which in the long run will be an added benefit for Philly as the season continues. Plus. Jim Curtin might find a new player in this group who he would want to use more. 

Image Credit: Philadelphia Union

Lineup Predictions

With the players who are unavailable for the match, Jim Curtin’s Starting XI will be looking a little different than usual. Players such as Jose Martinez, Jack Elliott, Daniel Gazdag, and Damion Lowe won’t be available for selection, which will possibly see Jim Curtin have to change some things around.

Another thing that Jim Curtin has to deal with is the possibility that Julian Carranza will not be available for selection. Carranza and the Union are close to finalizing a deal with Dutch side Feyenoord, which will see the Argentine head to the Netherlands. Philadelphia would not want to risk any possible injury to see the deal collapse, so Carranza will most likely not be playing, as reported by Joe Tansey earlier today. 

With the players not available for selection, Jim Curtin might change the formation that he uses to better utilize his squad. But for my starting lineup prediction, I am going to stay with the 4-4-2 Diamond that Curtin loves to use. My predicted lineup for the match against Inter Miami would be as follows:

GK: Oliver Semmle
RB: Olivier Mbaizo, CB: Jakob Glesnes, CB: Nathan Harriel, LB: Kai Wagner
CDM: Leon Flach
RCM: Ale Bedoya, LCM: Jack McGlynn
CAM: Jeremy Rafanello
ST: Quinn Sullivan, ST: Mikael Uhre

Image Credit: Philadelphia Union

Score Prediction

As everyone knows, the Union is in the middle of a rough patch at Subaru Park, and they will be looking to end that with Inter Miami coming to town. Both sides will be short-handed for the match, with Miami missing Suarez and Messi, and Philly missing names such as Martinez and Gazdag. With the big-name players absent, I can see the two sides fighting to a draw with a score of 1-1. It will be a closely fought match, but unfortunately, I predict the winless run at Subaru Park will continue.

Image Credit: Philadelphia Union

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