Possible Inter Miami starting lineup against Vissel Kobe: will Messi play?

The last stop of Inter Miami’s Asian tour has arrived, and the South Florida team will face Vissel Kobe (7 February 2024, with kick-off scheduled for 5am ET/3am PT.) before saying goodbye to an extensive tour of the world. They will then return home and prepare the final details for the start of the 2024 MLS season, which is less than 15 days away from kick-off.

Controversy has not been absent during Inter Miami’s pre-season campaign, especially regarding the issue of Lionel Messi, whose absence in Hong Kong caused a huge uproar that was unleashed regarding the apparent agreement that promised the presence of the Argentine forward for at least 45 minutes.

Now, after the disappointment left by Messi’s absence in Hong Kong, Tokyo is preparing to welcome Inter Miami with the expectation of seeing Leo Messi on the field, which is why that the tickets for the game have been sold out even without having a guarantee of his presence.

Messi himself has publicly expressed his desire to return to the pitch with Inter Miami and play in Japan, however, the decision will be made at the last minute, although everything points to an agreement with the footballer himself that he may have some minutes.

“That’s just football,” he said frankly, “you can get an injury in any game and it happened to me, I wasn’t ready for the game in Hong Kong. It’s a shame because I always want to participate, I want to be there, and even more so when it’s those games where we travel so far and the people are so excited”, the number 10 said.

These statements open the possibility of Messi playing a few minutes in Tokyo against Vissel Kobe and thus fulfilling the expectations of the thousands of fans who will gather at the National Stadium in Japan with the aim of catching a glimpse of the world champion.

Is Messi going to start for Inter Miami against Vissel Kobe?

How Tata Martino could line up:

GK: Drake Callender

DEF: Jordi Alba – Serhiy Kryvtsov – Tomás Avilés – DeAndre Yedlin

MID: Sergio Busquets – Julian Gressel – Gregore

ATT: Luis Suárez – Robert Taylor – Lionel Messi/Leonardo Campana.

For the game against Vissel Kobe, Martino is expected to repeat his formation again and return to the line of 4 defenders that gave him the victory against the Hong Kong XI.

It’s a huge game for Inter Miami who really could do with a convincing win against a decent side as their pre-season results so far have been hugely disappointing. Apart from the win over the Hong Kong XI, the games have been terrible for the MLS side who have failed to get things together in both attack and defence. Tata Martino’s men have conceded 12 goals so far, and such a leaky defence is surely a worry for fans who will be looking for a positive performance in Japan.


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