Inter Miami vs Real Salt Lake


Inter Miami open up the 2024 Major League Soccer season against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night.

The Herons endured a pretty disappointing preseason international tour, picking up just one win against Hong Kong team while losing to the likes of Al Nassr, Al Hilal and Vissel Kobe.

Superstars Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez all picked up knocks along the way – which angered not only the fans but also the Hong Kong government – but all three are expected to take part in the opening league fixture.

RSL, meanwhile, picked up two wins in preseason, also drawing against fellow MLS franchise Toronto FC.

Here’s 90min’s preview of the first game of the season.

Inter Miami vs Real Salt Lake H2H record

This is the first-ever meeting between Miami and RSL.

Current Form (all competitions)

Country

TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Apple TV – MLS Season Pass

United States

Apple TV – MLS Season Pass

Canada

Apple TV +

Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez - Soccer Player - Born 1987

Messi and Suarez are set to feature from the start / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

After sustaining injuries during Miami’s international preseason tour, many thought Messi, Suarez and Busquets wouldn’t be ready to go for the first game. But based on the Herons’ starting llineup against Newell’s Old Boys last week, all three ex-Barcelona figures should be good to go.

Messi appears to have fully recovered from his adductor problem, while Suarez’s case was more of a precaution with his peculiar knee situation. While Busquets didn’t feature against Messi’s boyhood club, head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino confirmed last week that the midfielder should be alright for their clash with RSL.

Jordi Alba featured in each preseason game and hasn’t picked up any knocks as of yet. Miami will be a little bit short in their midfield ranks, as Gregore was recently transferred to Brazilian side Botafogo in order for the Herons to be roster compliant.

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

Pablo Ruiz

Ruiz remains sidelined / Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Midfielder Pablo Ruiz remains out through injury as he’s still recovering from a knee injury suffered back in August. With Ruiz expected to return to the mix in March, RSL added to their midfield ranks by bringing in Matt Crooks from EFL Championship side Middlesbrough.

Real Salt Lake predicted lineup (4-4-2): MacMath; Brody, Vera, Glad; Katranis, Gomez, Ojeda, Palacio, Luna; Julio, Arango.

Both sides have played plenty of games in the preseason to be warmed up for the league’s opening fixture, and there will be plenty of pressure on the Herons to get three points at home to bring in the new campaign.

Messi and Suarez will put on a show and find the back of the net, but it won’t be enough to keep Cristian ‘Chicho’ Arango off the scoresheet to make things interesting late on in a rusty performance from Miami.

Prediction: Inter Miami 2-1 Real Salt Lake

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MLS and Apple TV's logos

MLS and Apple TV’s logos / SOPA Images/GettyImages

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