Inter Miami will look to maintain its unbeaten streak as it prepares to face a higher-placed Atlanta United on Sunday at the Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta.
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Lionel Messi has resumed training with the club after returning from a well-traveled stint on international duty with Argentina, which would seem to bode well for his chances of featuring in the match, though head coach Tata Martino stopped short of confirming as much when discussing Messi’s status.
Messi exited early from Argentina’s World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador after hitting a trademark free-kick goal and was left out of the matchday squad for last Tuesday’s subsequent trip to Bolivia.
“He’s fine, but we’re going to wait until after the training session before making a definitive decision,” Martino said.
“Obviously we’ll be very careful because we’re aware of the amount of important games awaiting us in the short term, but our idea is not to injure Leo or any other player, so we’ll have discussions on a day-to-day basis and see how they feel.” he added
For Atlanta United, it will be its second crack at playing against Inter Miami’s super-charged lineup that still has yet to lose a match across all competitions since the arrivals of Messi and his former Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
The first matchup didn’t go as planned for Atlanta, with Inter Miami cruising to a 4-0 victory in the Leagues Cup group stage play at DRV PNK Stadium back in July, powered by a Messi brace. The Five Stripes is currently sitting sixth in the East with 42 points (11W-8L-9D record). Meanwhile, Inter Miami sits 14th in the Eastern Conference table with just eight wins in 28 matches.
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