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MLS update: Miami without Messi for Sporting KC test

There are four MLS games taking place on Saturday as the battle for a place in the end of season playoffs intensifies.

Inter Miami face the prospect of lining up without Lionel Messi as they fight for postseason involvement in the East when they entertain Sporting Kansas City.

DC United play host to the Earthquakes of San Jose, New England Revolution make the trip to Minnesota United and defending champions Los Angeles FC travel to Western Conference rivals Portland Timbers.

Messi absence a huge blow for Miami

WhatInter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
WhereDRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
When19:30 ET, Saturday September 9th
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming & Apple TV
OddsInter Miami +110, Draw +260, Sporting Kansas City +230

Inter Miami managed just 18 points in their first 22 MLS games of the season but look a team reborn since the arrival of record seven-time record Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.

The Florida outfit won the Leagues Cup in Messi’s first involvement since arriving from Paris Saint-Germain and have earned seven points from their last three league games. 

That means the Herons have a chance to secure a playoff berth - but they remain eight points off the pace with just 10 games left to play so they still have a mountain to climb.

A win over Sporting KC is potentially a must for Inter, but they will be without Messi for Saturday’s game as he has linked up with Argentina for their international fixtures.

The visitors also have some catching up to do in the West as they sit in 11th place, two points outside of the playoff places.

Sporting arrive in form after back-to-back wins following their own Leagues Cup bid, where they reached the first knockout round, and will feel the absence of Messi gives them a real chance to claim a result in Fort Lauderdale.

The big question, is can Miami find a way to win without Messi? 

They still have veteran stars Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets available for this game so they can’t be discounted even without the Argentina captain, and defeat would be a huge blow to their hopes of a late surge into the playoff spots.

DC in need of a boost

WhatDC United vs San Jose Earthquakes
WhereAudi Field, Washington, D.C.
When19:30 ET, Saturday September 9th
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming & Apple TV
OddsDC United -143, Draw +300, San Jose Earthquakes +350

DC United are clinging on to the final playoff place in the East and San Jose aren’t faring much better in the West, as they sit in eighth spot with just a three-point lead over Austin in 10th.

These two sides have both struggled since MLS resumed after the Leagues Cup as DC have won just one of their three games and the Earthquakes have managed just one victory in four attempts.

Home advantage could prove the difference here, as United crushed Chicago Fire 4-0 in their last home assignment and the Earthquakes have found results hard to come by on the road - managing just two wins in 13 road games.

In-form United take in high-flying Revs

WhatMinnesota United vs New England Revolution
WhereAllianz Field, Minnesota
When20:30 ET, Saturday September 9th
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming & Apple TV
OddsMinnesota United -118, Draw +300, New England Revolution +300

Minnesota have managed two wins and two draws in their last four games and have moved into the top seven in the West, but their unbeaten streak will be put to the test when New England Revolution visit.

The Revs are second in the East with an impressive haul of 47 points from 26 games. 

However, New England’s away form has been mixed and only 13 of their points have come on the road, while they are winless in seven on their travels.

United threw away a 1-0 lead in a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture back in June but will feel they can settle the score in front of their own fans as they look to strengthen their hopes of securing a top-seven spot in the West.

LA looking for a response

WhatPortland Timbers vs Los Angeles FC
WhereProvidence Park, Portland
When22:30 ET, Saturday September 9th
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming & Apple TV
OddsPortland Timbers +180, Draw +275, New England Revolution +130

LA FC are the defending MLS champions but they head to Portland looking to bounce back after two successive MLS losses.

The visitors became Messi’s latest victims in the last round of fixtures as Miami claimed a 3-1 win in LA, but Steve Cherundolo’s side will feel they can get back to winning ways in Portland.

The Timbers aren’t out of playoff contention just yet but they are four points off the pace in a tightly packed West. 

LA FC have won each of the last three meetings between these two sides and will be looking to make it four in a row on Saturday. 

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