Monterrey vs Inter Miami: Preview, prediction and lineups

Inter Miami travel down south to take on Monterrey in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup quarter-finals Wednesday night.

The Herons welcomed Lionel Messi back into their squad last time out, and the 36-year-old bagged a goal off the bench in Miami’s 2-2 draw with Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

On the other side of the matchup, Rayados haven’t been as efficient in recent games with two defeats in their last three games played. The road victory in the first leg over Miami was sandwiched in between two Liga MX defeats to Chivas and Cruz Azul, which are the only losses Rayados have suffered in the 2024 Clausura season.

With Monterrey 2-1 up from the first leg, Miami know they’ll have to take the game to the opposition, with a clean sheet preferable as they seek to score at least twice.

Here’s 90min’s preview of the game.

Monterrey vs Inter Miami H2H Record

Current Form (all competitions)

Monterrey

Inter Miami

Cruz Azul 2-1 Monterrey – 06/04/2024

Inter Miami 2-2 Colorado Rapids – 06/04/2024

Inter Miami 1-2 Monterrey – 03/04/2024

Inter Miami 1-2 Monterrey – 03/04/2024

Monterrey 0-2 Chivas – 30/03/2024

Inter Miami 1-1 NYCFC – 30/03/2024

Atlas 1-2 Monterrey – 17/03/2024

New York Red Bulls 4-0 Inter Miami – 23/03/2024

Monterrey 2-1 FC Cincinnati – 14/03/2024

DC United 1-3 Inter Miami – 16/03/2024

Country

TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Concacaf GO

United States

FS1, TUDN

Canada

OneSoccer

Brandon VazquezBrandon Vazquez

Brandon Vazquez continues to score goals / Jam Media/GettyImages

Brandon Vazquez has continued to prove his worth after his $7.5m move from Cincinnati to Monterrey, netting three goals in five Champions Cup appearances for the Mexican giants. Although he didn’t manage to sneak one past Drake Callender in the first leg, he’ll be hungry to get back on the scoresheet to lead his side to the semi-finals.

Cesar Bustos is the only injury concern for Monterrey, with the 18-year-old recovering from a muscle injury.

Monterrey predicted lineup vs Inter Miami (4-5-1): Andrada; Aguirre, Guzman, Moreno, Arteaga; Meza, Rodriguez, Canales, Romo, Gallardo; Vazquez.

Lionel MessiLionel Messi

Lionel Messi returned from injury vs Colorado / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Messi returned to action for the first time since March 13 vs the Rapids after recovering from a hamstring injury, grabbing a trademark left-footed strike as well as a pre-assist in the buildup for Leo Afonso’s first career goal.

The Argentine looked as dangerous as ever in his 45-minute cameo after being substituted on at the start of the second half, and all signs point to the former Barcelona figure featuring from the start on Wednesday night.

Serhiy Kryvstov and Robert Taylor are both set to miss the clash with their respective hamstring injuries, while Federico Redondo’s knee injury sees him sidelined until later next month. David Ruiz will also miss the game through suspension after being shown a second yellow card in the first leg.

Inter Miami predicted lineup vs Monterrey (3-5-2): Callender, Aviles, Freire, Allen; Weigandt, Gressel, Busquets, Gomez, Alba; Messi, Suarez.

This just might be Miami’s most difficult fixture of the 2024 campaign thus far, as Monterrey are one of the most formidable and complete teams in North America. However, the Herons remain very much in the tie after a narrow defeat in the first leg without Messi, but the stakes will be much higher in the second leg at the hostile Estadio BBVA.

It will be another close encounter between the two teams with the hosts now having to prepare for Messi’s involvement, which is something very few teams have been successful at doing, but Monterrey may well come out on top.

Prediction: Monterrey 2-1 Inter Miami

READ THE LATEST INTER MIAMI & LIONEL MESSI NEWS, RUMOURS & GOSSIP

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