Preview: Inter Miami vs. Austin FC

Preview: Inter Miami vs. Austin FC

Struggling Inter Miami find themselves rock bottom of the Eastern Conference as they prepare to entertain in-form Austin FC at DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts suffered a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Philadelphia Union last time out, while the visitors claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Houston Dynamo.

Following a run of 10 defeats in 13 MLS matches, the Inter Miami bosses were left with little choice but to part company with manager Phil Neville, who left the club earlier this month.

However, interim manager Javier Morales failed to spark a revival in Florida, overseeing three successive defeats during his time at the helm, with losses to DC United and New England Revolution preceding last weekend’s mauling in Philly.

As a result, the Herons head into Saturday’s clash on a seven-game losing streak, and they have also conceded 16 goals since their last victory, which came almost six weeks ago against New England.

Former Barcelona and Argentina manager Gerardo Martino has since been appointed as the club’s permanent manager, but the 60-year-old has a big task on his hands, regardless of Lionel Messi’s imminent arrival.

Not only have Inter Miami lost each of their last three home league games, but they have also lost five of their previous seven, while no team in the Eastern Conference has scored fewer goals than the basement dwellers.

Preview: Inter Miami vs. Austin – prediction, team news, lineups

Austin FC enter Saturday’s showdown on the back of successive 3-0 victories over Texas rivals FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo, with Gyasi Zardes and Ethan Finlay each scoring in both matches.

When Austin suffered three defeats in four games between late May and mid-June – conceding nine goals along the way – Josh Wolff’s side slid down the standings, but they now find themselves just four points shy of third-placed Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference.

In addition to winning each of their last two matches, the Verde and Black have won five of their previous eight, scoring at least two goals in four of those victories while keeping three clean sheets.

Although Austin FC have upped their game in recent weeks, Wolff will be desperate for his players to start picking up consistent points away from home, as the Texas outfit have managed to win just two of their eight away league outings this term.

Having lost five of their previous seven MLS away games – conceding 16 goals in the process – Austin must improve on their travels, although a trip to lowly Inter Miami provides them with the ideal opportunity to win on the road.

Inter Miami Major League Soccer form:

Inter Miami form (all competitions):

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:

We say: Inter Miami 1-3 Austin FC
While Inter Miami have lost each of their last seven MLS matches, Austin FC have won five of their previous eight, so we expect the Verde and Black to pile more pressure on lowly Miami.

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