Messi Continues North American Takeover
When Inter Miami signed Lionel Messi, it shocked soccer news and changed everything in the MLS. After winning seven Ballons d’Or in Europe and claiming the World Cup this winter with Argentina, Messi has decided to take his talents to South Beach. On Tuesday, Messi and Inter Miami will face Atlanta United in his first game against an MLS opponent, despite being a Leagues Cup matchup.
Inter Miami Have Messi
While Messi has yet to step on the pitch in an MLS game, his impact has already been felt on the team. Messi has played one game with Inter Miami, coming off the bench against Cruz Azul before a sell-out crowd. When he subbed in at the 54th minute, Messi was immediately handed the captain’s armband and went to work.
OFF A FREE KICK.
ON HIS DEBUT.
LEO MESSI 👑
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 22, 2023
Like magic, Messi scored his first goal for Inter Miami: a free kick to win 2-1. It was a goal that might be special enough to change Inter Miami’s season. They currently have the fewest points in the MLS, with 18 total and 12 away from a possible playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Before Messi scored his game-winning goal, Inter Miami had not won a non-MLS game in 11 matches. Messi has a chance to change soccer lines for the club. On top of that, soccer odds are showing that Inter Miami is favored to sign more high-profile names, friends of Messi, to improve the roster. Sergio Busquets has already joined the club, and looked great against Cruz Azul, coming off the bench, also making his debut.
Atlanta United Even
According to MLS standings, Atlanta United has been the much better team heading into this game. If it weren’t for the arrival of Messi, Atlanta United would likely be seen as the CONCACAF Leagues Cup betting favorite. They are in seventh place in the East, with 35 points, sitting in a playoff spot.
A big reason for this has been their high-octane offense. Atlanta United averages 1.8 goals per game, the third most. On top of that, they hold possession 56% of the time, the third highest in the MLS. The driving force of the offense has been stretching the field, averaging 31 accurate long balls per game, the second most. Thiago Almada has been a player who often benefits from this. He is second in goals (8) while leading the team in assists (9).
Inter Miami vs Atlanta United Head-to-Head
These teams have played against one another once this season, with Inter Miami getting one of its five wins in the MLS, beating Atlanta United 2-1.
Inter Miami vs Atlanta United Match Information
- Match: Inter Miami vs Atlanta United
- Date/time: Tuesday, July 25, 7:30 p.m ET
- Location: DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Inter Miami vs Atlanta United Live Stream: fubo.tv
Inter Miami vs Atlanta United Betting Lines
Inter Miami vs Atlanta United Picks and Prediction
Having Messi on Inter Miami changes everything. On paper, Atlanta United is the better overall team, but nothing is the same with Messi in the game. It is unclear if his conditioning will let him start and play the entire game, but Messi will get on the pitch, at least for the second half. Inter Miami must remain competitive enough to let Messi take over.
Score Prediction: Inter Miami 2, Atlanta United 1