- Messi suffers setback in Inter Miami return
- Inter win 4-0 against Toronto FC but key duo doubtful for US Open Cup final
- Messi and Alba to miss MLS match against Orlando City
Lionel Messi’s much-anticipated return to action for Inter Miami was cut short after just 37 minutes. The Argentine, who was notably absent from Miami’s previous match due to fatigue, is extremely doubtful for the US Open Cup final against Houston Dynamo.
Injury blows for Messi and Alba
Manager Gerardo Martino disclosed that the 36-year-old forward is grappling with an “old injury,” shedding light on the potential hurdles Messi might face in the near future. Notably, Messi was not featured in the recent match against Bolivia under the guidance of Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni.
Scaloni stated that Messi did not feature for his country last week because he “was not ready to play” and the former Barcelona forward “did not feel comfortable”.
Adding to the setback, Messi’s former Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba also suffered an injury during the match against Toronto. Manager Martino confirmed that both players will be unavailable for the upcoming clash against Orlando City.
“There is no chance they will be there on Sunday,” said Martino.
“I know we have a final to play [on Wednesday] but they won’t go near the pitch if they can’t play.”
Since joining the MLS club in July after bidding farewell to Paris St-Germain, Messi has been instrumental in ensuring Inter Miami’s success. The team has remained undefeated in the 11 matches in which Messi has played, underscoring his impact on the squad.
Despite Messi’s untimely exit against Toronto, Inter Miami managed to secure a convincing 4-0 victory. Captain Messi’s replacement, Robert Taylor, emerged as the hero of the match with two goals, while Facundo Farias and Benjamin Cremaschi also found the net, sealing a comfortable win for the team.
As Messi’s recovery and availability for future matches hang in the balance, the Inter Miami fanbase eagerly awaits updates on their star player’s condition and hopes for a swift return to the pitch. The team’s performance in upcoming fixtures will undoubtedly be closely scrutinised in the absence of these key players.
Inter Miami have completely turned their season around since the arrival of Messi and his former Barcelona teammates Alba and Sergio Busquets. They face a tough MLS match at the weekend, away at Orlando City, without Messi and Alba. Orlando are second in the table with Inter down in 13th. Orlando are very much the favourites with bet365 offering 10/11 for a home win, 13/5 for a draw and 3/1 for an Inter Miami win. Odds are correct at the time of writing.
As far as the US Open Cup Final against Houston Dynamos is concerned, Betfred make Inter Miami favourites, offering 4/7 at the time of writing, with the Dynamos 18/5 and a draw 3/1. However, this could well change if Messi and/or Alba remain unavailable. Punters need to monitor this and need to look at how the other Inter Miami players step up. It must be remembered that Busquets is a huge influence and the general standard of play and morale in the camp seem to have improved since the arrival of the ex Barcelona trio.
Messi was missing with fatigue when Miami slumped to a 5-2 defeat against Atlanta. They have not lost any of the 11 matches in which the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has featured since he joined the MLS club in July.