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Inter Miami CF-United FC Preview
Phil Neville revealed Inter Miami CF owner David Beckham is demanding more of his former teammate as his side prepare to visit Atlanta United.
Miami had been in a torrid run of form, enduring a six-game losing run in which they conceded 17 and scored just once.
However, back-to-back wins against Toronto FC and strugglers FC Cincinnati kept their faint playoff hopes alive but Beckham still wants more from former Manchester United team-mate Neville.
"There is frustration there from (Beckham), like there is from everyone," Neville admitted. "We're virtually relying on others to get us into the playoffs.
"I think he expected us to be higher than what we were but realizes the challenges in front of us and the obstacles we've had.
"The conversations I've had mirrored the conversations we've had as a staff and the way I feel is that it's frustrating. We should be higher up the table with the players we've got.
"His demands are he wants better. I feel exactly the same. The one challenge he set is let's win the next three or four games. Let's finish on a high."
Atlanta are tucked just inside the Eastern Conference playoff positions, coming into their next game in seventh after a 1-1 draw with New York City FC.
Gonzalo Pineda has impressed since replacing Gabriel Heinze and the new head coach hailed the work of Josef Martinez, who scored the winner in September's clash between the two sides.
"The difference is the winning mentality," Pineda started on Martinez.
"It's hard to define what that is but it's so many things, the combination of passion and competition for the game.
"They're willing to do whatever it takes to do the best, their willingness to win and adapting to every situation is the difference. That gives belief to both the (other) players and the coach."
Atlanta United - Marcelino Moreno
Marcelino Moreno has found the back of the net in each of his last two matches and will look to continue his fine form in front of goal.
Inter Miami CF - Gonzalo Higuain
Following his brace versus Cincinnati, Gonzalo Higuain has now scored 11 times in 28 outings for the away side while also supplying nine assists in that time.
- Atlanta United recorded its first victory over Inter Miami at the sixth time of asking (D3 L2) with a 1-0 victory on September 29. All six meetings have either been drawn (3) or decided by a one-goal margin (Miami W2, Atlanta W1).
- Atlanta United has recorded nine wins in its last 13 matches (D1 L3) dating back to early August. Since that run began on August 7, only New England (10) has more victories than the Five Stripes.
- Inter Miami set club records for goals and margin of victory in its 5-1 win over FC Cincinnati on Saturday. Miami has scored eight times in its last two matches after scoring just four times in its previous 10 games.
- Marcelino Moreno has scored in each of his last two appearances after scoring just once in his previous nine matches dating back to mid-August. Moreno already has one run of three straight games with a goal, doing so from July 31 to August 8.
- Gonzalo Higuaín (1 goal, 3 assists) and Rodolfo Pizarro (3 assists) were each involved in at least three goals in Inter Miami's win over Cincinnati on Saturday. Prior to the match no Miami player had contributed to more than two goals in any MLS match.
Updated October 26, 2021