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Preview: Toronto FC take their talents to South Beach

Toronto and Miami are both undefeated in four MLS matches.

Toronto FC v Inter Miami CF
Richie Laryea goes for a dribble around Lewis Morgan in the last match between Toronto FC and Inter Miami in October 2021.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Toronto FC will take on Inter Miami in a crucial Eastern Conference matchup on Saturday night.

After dropping points at home against a team ahead of them in the standings, Toronto’s squad must recognize the importance of a fixture against another group fighting for the playoffs.

Domenico Criscito’s second half stunner against the Revolution on Wednesday night gave the Reds a decent, but not ideal result. With just eight matches left to play and ground to make up, turning draws into wins will be of the upmost importance as the regular season comes to a close.

Toronto were the better side at home in that last 2-2 draw but could not convert on their chances. Dominating the shot totals 19 to 6, the Reds were unable to capitalize on their opportunities. Ayo Akinola was given the chance to play from the start in place of Jesus Jimenez, but could not find the back of the net.

Bob Bradley should expect more from whoever is playing in-between Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi. The two Italian wingers (especially Bernardeschi), fed quality ball after quality ball into the penalty area against New England, to no real effect.

Federico Bernardeschi attempts to get by defender DeJuan Jones during the 2-2 draw against New England Revolution at BMO Field.
Josh Kim/Waking The Red

Currently riding a four-game unbeaten run, attention now turns to another team that hasn’t lost in four, Inter Miami CF. TFC will confront Phil Neville’s Inter Miami for the first time this season, as both sides seek to prolong their strong run of form in the league.

Toronto FC will have their work cut out for them against a group they don’t have much luck against. TFC has beaten Inter Miami once in four attempts, grabbing the only victory in their first-ever match against the club in November 2020.

Inter Miami CF v Toronto FC
Michael Bradley holds the ball during Toronto FC’s only win against Inter Miami in November 2020.
Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

The boys in red will go up against a familiar face in Florida. 2020 MLS MVP Alejandro Pozuelo will be out for revenge on Saturday night as he plays against his former side for the first time following his trade to Miami in July.

The Spanish playmaker seems to have embraced his new surroundings and is looking bright in the Sunshine State. The TFC centurion has two goals and three assists during his new club’s four match unbeaten run. Pozuelo is also the most recent MLS Player of the Week following his brace and assist during the comeback win against New York City FC in Miami’s last match.

Pozuelo’s arrival has seemingly allowed Gonzalo Higuain to find his best self. The Argentine has scored five goals in six appearances since Pozuelo’s Inter Miami debut, including a hat-trick in a 4-4 draw with FC Cincinnati.

Game Notes

  • Toronto FC have lost three in a row to Inter Miami
  • Only five clubs have a worse goal difference than Inter Miami’s -9

Predicted Lineups

Inter Miami: Callender; Gibbs, Lowe, McVey; Jones, Mota, Gregore, Ulloa, Yedlin, Pozuelo, Higuain

Toronto FC: Bono; Criscito, Mavinga, MacNaughton, Laryea; Nelson, Bradley, Osorio; Insigne, Akinola, Bernardeschi

Match Details

Opponent: Inter Miami

Kickoff time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Watch: TSN

Stadium: DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.