New York City Football Club are down in Florida this Saturday to take on Inter Miami CF.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford.
Inter Miami are currently in a strong position in the Eastern Conference, sitting just below the playoff line.
Their situation is a consequence of strong recent form with two draws and a win in their last three. Coincidentally, their last defeat came at the hands of NYCFC at Yankee Stadium late last month. Since then, Miami have not struggled to find the net, recording seven goals in games against FC Cincinnati, San Jose Earthquakes, and CF Montréal.
At home, Miami have two wins and a draw in their last five at home. All in all, it won’t be an easy trip for NYCFC, but they can take encouragement from their last visit to DRV PNK Stadium, a game that saw them emerge 3-1 winners.
One of the reasons NYCFC have been able to maintain a position near the top of the Eastern Conference is because of their ability to string results together. Twice this season NYCFC have gone on an unbeaten run above five games.
While maintaining an unbeaten run takes tremendous mental strength, so too does bouncing back from the defeat that ends one. NYCFC may have felt disappointed with the nature of their defeat against Columbus Crew on Saturday.
The Boys in Blue will have the chance to bounce back on Saturday against Inter Miami, and while the end of their unbeaten streak wasn’t ideal, the opportunity to start a new one is fast approaching.
Inter Miami embarked on a demanding week with three games, two of which were on the road.
Interestingly, Head Coach Phil Neville used a different tactical system for each game. A 4-3-3, 4-4-1-1, 5-3-2 highlighted the flexibility among the Miami roster, as well as Neville's willingness to adjust and tinker with his team when he feels it will benefit them. Miami have utilized six different systems in their last eight games, and we may see that pragmatism resurface on Saturday.
With a week's rest and the game being in Miami, Neville may also seek to deploy the inverted 4-3-3 set-up that he has used most consistently this season. Either way, Miami will have an air of unpredictability about their formation and that will provide a test for NYCFC as they travel south.