Inter Miami CF vs. CF Montreal Pick & Prediction MARCH 10th 2024

Lionel Messi and Inter Miami will try to continue their fast start to the 2024 season on Sunday when they host a CF Montreal side that also hasn’t lost despite beginning its league campaign on the road.

In league play, Miami (2-0-1, 7 points) most recently thumped Florida rivals Orlando City 5-0 on March 2. Luis Suarez scored his first two MLS goals and Messi added two of his own to move into a tie for the league lead with three entering play Saturday.

But it may be a fatigued Herons side that suits up Sunday after they were pushed to the limit Thursday night in a 2-2 draw at Nashville SC in Concacaf Champions Cup play.

Inter Miami trailed the first leg of their round-of-16 series by two goals before Messi and Suarez each scored in the second half, with the latter’s goal leveling it in second-half stoppage time and giving the Herons the series lead on away goals.

Both former FC Barcelona stars went the full 90. It was Suarez’s first complete 90-minute appearance for Miami, meaning he could be among the players manager Tata Martino is considering rotating for Sunday’s match.

“We have to see how are the players, especially the players that played the most minutes,” Miami assistant Javier Morales said on Friday. “And then we’re going to make a decision probably after practice today. We’re going to make a decision and we’ll see who is healthy, who is ready to play (on Sunday).”

Miami will try to limit former Herons striker Josef Martinez, who scored the winner for Montreal (1-0-1, 4 points) in a 2-1 victory at FC Dallas on March 2.

Now age 30, Martinez may never rediscover his form from before a torn ACL suffered early in the 2020 season when he scored 87 league goals between 2017 and 2019 for Atlanta.

He had only seven in 2023 during his only MLS season in Miami. But he’s still dangerous in moments, as he showed when he came on for the injured Matias Coccaro just before halftime and finished off an assist from Ruan in the 60th minute.

“Josef is Josef,” Montreal manager Laurent Courtois said through an interpreter. “He’s done what very few can do. … But he’s still a long way away from his fitness potential, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

–Field Level Media

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