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Inter Miami CF-Crew Preview

Inter Miami CF head coach Phil Neville has backed his side to "flip" their form by putting together another winning streak, starting with three points against Columbus Crew on Saturday.

The Herons have lost five matches in a row, failing to score in four of those, to drop back down to 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Inter's terrible form has come on the back of a run of games that saw them take 16 points from a possible 18, giving Neville belief that their postseason prospects are not quite over.

"This team can get five wins on the bounce - we've seen it, we've done it. So this team can flip it," he said.

"But we know Columbus are a championship-winning team. Twelve months ago or less they won a championship, they were the best team in the whole East and the West.

"They have a championship-winning coach who's won it before with another club, so we're not underestimating the size of the task."

While the Crew may have prevailed in the MLS Cup last term, they are down in 10th in the Eastern Conference this time around, two points ahead of Inter with six regular-season games to go.

The reigning champions are six points adrift of the cut-off point and Caleb Porter accepts his side are approaching must-win territory.

"That pack is pretty tight," he said. "Yes, we're two wins out, but there's a bunch of teams in that pack. There'll be a few that falter - everybody's playing everybody.

"We just need to go on a run, and we need to win our home games. That was always the goal - to win our home games.

"I think and believe that we're going to be right there, because there'll be some teams that falter. But we'll know, as the next games go on, whether or not it's in our hands or not."

Columbus Crew - Darlington Nagbe

Having turned down multiple calls from the United States national team in recent times, Nagbe has spent the past two weeks recuperating ahead of this showdown with Inter. The 31-year-old continues to perform at a very high level for the Crew and will again look to take control of the central midfield battle this weekend.

Inter Miami CF - Gonzalo Higuain

Higuain has played a full part in Inter's last three matches, during which time the Herons have failed to find the net. Neville's side have a serious issue in front of goal and, having registered just one shot on target against New York Red Bulls last time out, they could do with Higuain stepping up.

- Inter won their first match against the Crew 1-0 on September 11. Gonzalo Higuain scored the game's only goal in the 16th minute.

- After winning just one of their first six home matches at Lower.com Field (D2 L3), the Crew have won three straight games at their new home. All but one of the nine MLS games played at Lower.com Field have been either drawn or decided by a one-goal margin.

- Inter have lost five straight matches, including the last three by 1-0 final scores. It is the 11th time in MLS history that a team has lost three straight matches 1-0, though no team has done so in four consecutive games.

- The Crew have left a lot of their scoring for late in the game, with 31 percent (10) of their 32 goals coming in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, the highest percentage in MLS.

- Inter managed just one shot on target in their loss to the Red Bulls last time out, the eighth time this season they have had one shot or less on target in a match. No other team has had more than four such games (level with Columbus Crew and Toronto FC).

Updated October 15, 2021

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