FC Cincinnati-Inter Miami CF Preview

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Inter Miami CF head coach Phil Neville implored his side to finish its MLS campaign strongly as it prepares to host FC Cincinnati.

Miami’s playoff hopes are slowly fading away, albeit a 3-0 win over Toronto FC delivered faint promise to leave the hosts six points behind seventh-placed DC United.

The cruising victory over the Canadian side also ended a six-game losing streak. However, Neville appreciates his side will likely have to win all of its remaining games to stand any chance of making the playoffs.

“We now got the win, we now look forward to the game on Saturday, we now look forward to playing in front of our unbelievable supporters again,” Neville said. “I said to them, four more games, four more wins, that’s all we can ask for. You never know what might happen…we just got to make sure we go on a run now and the players are excited.”

Cincinnati is almost guaranteed to finish near the bottom this term after falling on the wrong side of a seven-goal thriller against the Chicago Fire last time out.

The Orange and Blue are on an eight-game losing run, falling in this same fixture 1-0 just over a month ago and interim head coach Tyrone Marshall insisted his team has to perform for the full 90 minutes if it wants to be successful.

“Initially we wanted to inject some more offensive action, so we went with two strikers tonight,” Marshall started after the loss against the Fire. “As you can see I thought we did that, we generated more goals at home. We had some great chances in the beginning of the game.

“Defensively, I thought we gave up some soft goals. I think for us moving forward, we have to play the 90 minute game, I think if we did that it would be a different situation. Mentally, we didn’t get to finish the game.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Inter Miami CF – Federico Higuain

Higuain was voted Man of the Match against Toronto in his first start since July following his standout performance and early goal.

FC Cincinnati – Luciano Acosta

Acosta with his seventh goal of the season is now tied with Allan Cruz (2019) and Brenner (2021) for most goals in a season by an FCC player. Acosta’s nine assists is also the franchise’s most in a season.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Inter Miami has won all three matches against FC Cincinnati, all by one-goal margins, including two wins this season. The only two teams Miami has a perfect record against are Cincinnati and Houston (1 match).

– Inter Miami ended a six-match losing streak with a 3-0 victory over Toronto FC on Wednesday. The three-goal margin of victory was the largest in Miami’s MLS history.

– FC Cincinnati’s club-record losing streak extended to eight games with a 4-3 defeat to the Fire on Wednesday. There have only been six longer losing streaks in a single season in MLS history, most recently Orlando City’s nine straight defeats in May-July 2018.

– Christian Makoun scored his second goal of the season in Miami’s win over Toronto on Wednesday. There has been only one other goal scored by a Miami defender all season: Kieran Gibbs against Orlando City on August 4.

– The four goals FC Cincinnati allowed in its loss to the Fire on Wednesday marked the 15th time the club has allowed four or more goals in a match. No other team has done so more than 11 times (San Jose) since Cincinnati joined MLS for the 2019 season.

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