Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Cincinnati coach Noonan relishing ´great test´ against Inter Miami

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jul 2024

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FC Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan is relishing going up against Inter Miami in an enthralling clash at the top of MLS.

Eastern Conference leaders Miami, who will be without Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez due to their continued Copa America duties, visit Cincinnati on Saturday.

The defending Supporters’ Shield champions are second in the East, just two points behind Miami.

Both teams have won four of their last five league games, and Noonan is anticipating a stern test of his team’s quality.

“They’re a very deep team. You can see with key pieces missing the team that they’re fielding is very strong,” Noonan said.

“There’s a reason they’re still winning games and doing it home and away.

“They have a lot of quality and a lot of guys that have played meaningful minutes and now are getting more consistent starts.

“But they still look very strong and will be a great test for us.”

Cincinnati have a game in hand on Miami, and come into the clash on the back of a record-setting 3-2 win over D.C. United.

Noonan’s team have now won seven straight away matches.

“I give the guys credit because we’ve gone on the road two games here and gotten results, and it’s not easy to do,” Noonan said after the win.

“I told them before the game… ‘You guys are a good team on the road,’ and it might not always be the way we want it to look.

“That’s credit to the opponent, that’s credit to going on the road in tough atmospheres, but you have to be able to adjust at times and adapt to the conditions, and I think they do a good job of that.”

The task for Cincinnati now is to repeat that form at home.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FC Cincinnati – Luciano Acosta

Acosta has been involved in seven goals (three goals, four assists) in his last four home matches. Since the start of the 2022 season, Acosta has been involved in 52 goals in regular-season home matches (23 goals, 29 assists), seven more than any other player in that time.

Inter Miami – Jordi Alba

With Messi and Suarez absent, fellow superstar Alba has been helping to plug the gap.

He scored a stunner against Nashville SC last week, and adds another potent threat even from left-back.

MATCH PREDICTION: CINCINNATI WIN

Miami have won 11 of their last 14 matches (D2 L1) including the last four in a row. All four wins in Miami’s current run have been by 2-1 scorelines.

But Cincinnati are made the slight favourites for this one.

The win over D.C. was their 11th win in their last 13 matches (L2). The only team in the post-shootout era (since 2000) to record 12 wins in a span of 14 matches in a single regular season was the Seattle Sounders in July-October 2018.

Miami won each of their first four matches against Cincinnati in 2020 and 2021. Since the start of the 2022 season, however, Cincinnati are unbeaten in four regular-season meetings with Miami (W3 D1).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

FC Cincinnati – 43.7%

Inter Miami – 29.5%

Draw – 26.8%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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