Lionel Messi and Inter Miami are in a race to make the MLS Cup Playoffs and their next test comes against Atlanta United in what is sure to be a capacity crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Ahead of MLS Matchday 3, we look at Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami odds and Lionel Messi props and offer a few predictions for Saturday’s encounter.
Messi will not play in this MLS match after staying back in Miami as a precaution and not forming part of the travel roster to Atlanta. That means scrap all bets including Messi to score but don’t necessarily rule out Miami who are undefeated in all competitions since mid-July, including a 3-2 win last week while Messi was on international break with the Argentina men’s national team.
Miami is a slight underdog at and moneyline, and is in need of points sooner rather than later with only eight regular season games remaining. Atlanta United are 8-3-3 at home this season and feature Messi’s World Cup winning teammate Thiago Almada, to score.
Odds for Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami MLS Match
Here are Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami betting lines found at the best sports betting apps, where the draw is :
Atlanta United Roster, Injuries, and Betting News
After making the 2021 playoffs, Atlanta missed the postseason last year and made a big change by moving on from club legend Josef Martinez. Young Argentine Thiago Almada, who won the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina and Messi, has taken a step forward in becoming the star of the present, with some game-winning free kicks earlier in the season.
Atlanta also boosted its squad with the addition of Greek forward Giorgos Giakoumakis, who has 13 goals this season, to complement Almada’s 14 assists. ATL is currently in playoff position as the 6th-placed team in the Eastern Conference but would like to move higher and start assuring home-field advantage for the postseason.
Former Mexico national team and MLS midfielder Gonzalo Pineda is the head coach of Atlanta United. The Mexico City native was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches with the Seattle Sounders and looks to be finally building some stability after being appointed midway through the 2021 season.
Atlanta counts on an experienced goalkeeper with former U.S. national team player Brad Guzan. After starting his career in the MLS, Guzan played in England from 2008-17 and featured in over 100 matches for Premier League side Aston Villa.
Current U.S. men’s national team defender Miles Robinson headlines the defensive line and is in redemption mode after missing the 2022 FIFA World Cup due to a season-ending injury. The Five Stripes on the likes of Mexican defender Juan Jose Sanchez Purata and veteran MLS wingback Brooks Lennon.
Of course, the headliners are Giakoumakis and Almada, and they will be looked to cancel out or outscore the likes of Messi and company. Keep an eye out for young American talent Caleb Wiley or Purata on set pieces as potential scorers as well.
Out: Ozzie Alonso (leg)
Inter Miami Leagues Cup Roster, Injuries, and Betting News
Former FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi has taken the attention of the general sports crowd in the United States. It’s similar to the impact, amplified even, that Inter Miami owner David Beckham brought to the league when he played with the LA Galaxy a decade ago.
Of course, it’s not only Messi but also former Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, who have given a different face to what was one of the worst MLS teams this season. To round out the package, ex-Barcelona and Argentina manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who won in the MLS Cup with Atlanta, was brought in to guide this team from disaster to championship contenders.
Inter Miami has not lost since Messi’s arrival and conquered the Leagues Cup tournament this summer. That undefeated streak includes an Atlanta loss in Miami.
Inter Miami has in its ranks former MLS Golden Boot winner Josef Martinez, and a player that will be plenty motivated to score against his former team and the coach that led to his exit as a club legend in Atlanta. Leonardo Campana was one of Miami’s top goal-generators last season and regained some of his form with a brace last week.
Messi’s play has inspired other forwards like Robert Taylor, Benjamin Cremaschi, and David Ruiz to reach new levels and even gain the attention of their respective national teams. Cremaschi made his U.S. debut this past week and the 18-year-old is just starting to flourish.
Miami’s defense features MLS veterans like Canada’s Kamal Miller and U.S. right-back DeAndre Yedlin. Rising goalkeeper Drake Callender was a hero in the Leagues Cup final and has risen on the U.S. national team picture as well.
Out: Lionel Messi (muscle discomfort), Gregore (Lisfranc), Franco Negri (ACL), Corentin Jean (ACL), Ian Fray (ACL)
Lionel Messi Goalscorer Props + More Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami Wagering Options
Below is a sampling of props for Saturday’s Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami MLS game. In the potential absense of Lionel Messi, take a look at Miami forwards Leonardo Campana and Josef Martinez, who is returning to face his former club after being traded from Atlanta this past offseason.
Player To Score Two or More:
Correct Score (FanDuel):
- Atlanta 1-0: +1300
- Atlanta 2-0: +1600
- Atlanta 2-1: +900
- Atlanta 3-0: +2800
- Miami 1-0: +1400
- Miami 2-0: +1400
- Miami 2-1: +1000
- Miami 3-0: +3300
- 0-0: +1900
- 1-1: +700
- 2-2: +1000
- 3-3: +3100
Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami Prediction
Inter Miami head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino led Atlanta United to the 2018 MLS Cup title but now returns as an Eastern Conference foe. Also returning is forward Josef Martinez, who set a new season-high 31 goals in that same season but was traded to South Beach this past offseason after a falling out with now-Atlanta head coach Gonzalo Pineda.
This has the makings to be an exciting encounter with a potentially full NFL stadium and a passionate soccer market in Atlanta, setting the stage for high drama. Of course, many will be disappointed to not see Messi, despite the player’s comments a few weeks back that he was open to playing on turf.
The reality is that Miami needs points more desperately than Atlanta as the weeks wind down in MLS. Of course, the recent draw to Nashville proved that there could be some stumbling blocks on the road and surely teams will mimick any style that can slow down the world’s best player.
Look for Messi’s Argentina teammate Almada to score because as the unquestionably best player on the field. The storyline with Josef Martinez and his return to Atlanta, where he will be greeted with cheers, is also a narrative to follow.
Here are a few bets that are worth considering:
- Over 3.5 Goals:
- Anytime Scorer: Georgios Giakoumakis (ATL) , Thiago Almada (ATL) , Josef Martinez (MIA) , Leo Campana (MIA)
Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami Broadcast Info: Where to Watch
- Date/Time: Saturday, September 16, 5:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, United
Watch this match at one of the following:
- MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (English/Spanish)