- The inaugural Leagues Cup Final takes place Saturday, August 19 at 9:00 pm EST at GEODIS Park in Nashville
- Both teams have now qualified for the CONCACAF Champions Cup (previously CCL) by making the final
- Get the Nashvillve vs Inter Miami odds and our top Leagues Cup Final picks here
The first edition of the Leagues Cup has reached the end and so far the tournament has played out mostly how the script writers would’ve written it. And let’s be honest. Exactly how MLS would’ve dreamed it. Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami debut has been everything he, Miami and the league could have hoped for. Messi and Miami have coasted to the tournament final and will meet Nashville SC on Saturday. While not many would have picked Nashville to still be standing, they are fifth-best in MLS and boast league MVP Hany Mukhtar in their ranks. Read on for the Leagues Cup Final odds and our top Nashville vs Inter Miami prediction here.
Nashville SC vs Inter Miami Odds
|To Lift Trophy
No surprise here in the Leagues Cup Final odds. Inter Miami are the favorites despite being on the road, currently lined at +100 to win in regulation and -175 to win by any means if the game goes to penalties. Over 2.5 goals is heavily favored at -163, while Under 2.5 is priced at +125. Odds at Bet365 August 18.
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How to Watch Nashville vs Miami
The Leagues Cup Final can be seen in the United States and Canada through MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.
Nashville Looks to Play Spoiler In Final
Nashville got through the group stages after a 2-1 win over Colorado and a 4-3 loss to Toluca. There next two games in the knockout rounds could have gone either way, drawing Cincinnati 1-1 in the round of 32 and Club America 2-2 in the round of 16, going on to win both in penalties. In the quarterfinals they cruised to a 5-0 win over Minnesota after the Loons took a first-half red card.
The semifinals looked to be Nashville’s toughest test going up against one of the top teams from Liga MX and the last Mexican team left standing in Monterrey. While Hany Mukhtar looked to have scored an incredible goal from the top of the box in the first half, it was called back by VAR for an offside infringement. Monterrey also came close to striking first with a shot that glanced off the the crossbar near the end of the half.
They also had a foul reviewed by VAR for a possible penalty in the second half but to no avail. That meant Sam Surridge’s 63′ minute goal broke the deadlock to give Nashville a 1-0 lead. Despite wave after after of pressure from Los Rayados the rest of the way, none of their 21 attempts, three shots on target or ten corners would lead to a goal. In the end, it was Fafa Picault from Nashville who scored the insurance marker on the last play of the game deep into stoppage time to seal a 2-0 win.
New addition Surridge has made an immediate impact for the Yotes with a team-leading three goals in the tournament, while MLS MVP Mukhtar leads in assists with five. Overall ten different players have scored for Nashville.
Sam Surridge for @NashvilleSC
— PFF FC (@PFF_FC) August 17, 2023
Messi and Miami Still Perfect In Leagues Cup
It’s a short sample size, but death, taxes, Messi scoring and Miami winning Leagues Cup has quickly become the norm. Not even playing against a team, Philadelphia, who’d previously had just one home loss in 38 games was enough to derail the Herons on the semifinals. Josef Martinez scored early just three minutes into the game, Messi doubled the lead in the 20′ minute and Jordi Alba put Miami up 3-0 at half. While Alejandro Bedoya pulled one back in the 73′ for Philly, Miami added a fourth in the 84′ through David Ruiz. 4-1 win and Miami to the finals. Miami’s four goals came on just four shots on target and on an xG of just 0.60 which makes the win even more impressive.
It was the fourth time in six Leagues Cup games Miami scored four goals and the sixth time they scored multiple goals. They won 2-1 over Cruz Azul and 4-0 over Atlanta in the group stage. Topped Orlando 3-1 in the round of 32, drew Dallas 4-4 (PK win) in the round of 16 and crushed Charlotte 4-0 in the quarterfinals.
That makes Miami the tournament’s highest scoring team with 21 goals. Messi has been magical, scoring in every game and totalling nine goals and four assists. His goals (9), shots (22) and shots on target (14) are all tournament bests. But Robert Taylor also has four goals and Josef Martinez three.
Nashville SC vs Inter Miami Head-to-Head Stats
|Sam Surridge (3)
|Lionel Messi (9)
*Leagues Cup stats
Nashville SC vs Inter Miami Lineups and Injuries
Here are the potential Nashville vs Miami staring lineups.
Nashville Projected Lineup: Panicco; Lovitz, Zimmerman, MacNaughton, Moore; Picault, Godoy, McCarty, Muyl; Mukhtar; Bunbury
Injuries & absences: Shaffelburg, DePuy, Maher
Miami Projected Lineup: Callender; Alba, Miller, Kryvtsov, Yedlin; Cremaschi, Busquets, Arroyo; Taylor, Martinez, Messi
Injuries & absences: Gregore, Negri, Jean, Stefanelli, Sailor, Robinson
Lionel Messi has scored in every single match he has played with Inter Miami CF 🤯
Nine goals in six games – Messi has taken over the #LeaguesCup.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) August 15, 2023
Nashville SC vs Inter Miami Prediction
The task is tall for Nashville to end this Messi fairytale ending. Keeping Miami off the scoresheet just doesn’t look possible right now. Especially when you consider Nashville only has three clean sheets in their past 20 games.
They can lean on their home form that’s seen them go 8-2-2 in MLS, outscoring opponents 21-8. Across all competitions, the Yotes have scored in 13 of their past 14 home games. In Leagues Cup, home or away, they’ve totalled 15 goals in 16 games.
Nashville aren’t a team that likes to play with the ball and that won’t be any different here. They’ve had under 40% possession in four of their six games. They held 52% in their first game and 66% versus Minnesota, but versus the Loons they played a man up for most of the game.
Meanwhile Miami’s possession numbers have been 53, 62, 64, 67, 62 and 54. Messi didn’t start that first game. And in the semifinals, with a comfortable lead, Miami eased up in attack in the second half.
That’s a lot of time for Messi, Sergio Busquets and co. to work their magic and very likely create plenty of scoring opportunities. Messi to find the net again is priced at -150. But you shouldn’t count out Nashville. They’ve already knocked out Supporters’ Shield leaders Cincinnati and Mexican powerhouses Club America and Monterrey.
It seems foolish to bet against Miami at this point, but they have conceded five goals in their two road games in this tournament. Take Miami to win and ‘both teams to score and over 2.5’ in the goals market, or combine it into a same-game parlay for better odds in your Leagues Cup Final picks.
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- Nashville vs Miami Picks: Miami win (+100), Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 (-125)