Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC in Concacaf Champions Cup: Will Messi play? How to watch.

Inter Miami’s first chance to compete for a championship in 2024 begins tonight.

Lionel Messi and Inter Miami visit Nashville SC in the Concacaf Champions Cup on Thursday at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tennessee.

It’s the first of two legs between Inter Miami and Nashville SC in the Round of 16 matchup.

And it’ll be Messi’s second game in Nashville since joining Inter Miami. The first was memorable.

Follow along here for live updates from Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC.

The Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC match will kickoff at 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT) at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tennessee. The match is available in English on FS2 and in Spanish on TUDN.

WATCHMessi and Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC in the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Fubo

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Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against Orlando City in a 5-0 Inter Miami win on Saturday.

Will Messi play in Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC game?

Lionel Messi is expected to play in Inter Miami’s match against Nashville SC. He even posted about it on Instagram earlier Thursday.

Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC predictions

Safid Deen, Lionel Messi reporter: Inter Miami 3, Nashville SC 0

Nashville will play Inter Miami close early, but Messi and Inter Miami are well-rested and coming off a heater against Orlando City last week. Messi scores once, and has an assist to Luis Suarez, while one other Inter Miami player, let’s say Julian Gressel, finds the back of the net in a 3-0 win.

Jacob Shames, Nashville SC beat writer for The Tennessean: Inter Miami 2, Nashville SC 0

Even if Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge don’t play, Nashville’s defensive structure still will frustrate Messi and Suarez, but Inter Miami’s superior talent will overwhelm when it’s all said and done. But if Nashville is at or close to full strength, can it generate offense to match? In that regard, there’s little to go off of.

How did Inter Miami and Nashville SC get here in Concacaf Champions Cup?

Inter Miami’s win in the Leagues Cup qualified them for a berth into the Round of 16 in the Champions Cup tournament.

Nashville SC outlasted Dominican team Moca FC 7-0 on aggregate to advance.

What is the Concacaf Champions Cup?

Compared to other soccer tournaments, it’s like the CONMEBOL Libertadores and the UEFA Champions League.

The winner qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup in 2025.

What happened when Messi last visited Nashville?

Messi and Inter Miami hoisted the League Cup trophy after beating Nashville 1-1 (10-9 in penalty kicks) on Aug. 19, 2023. It was Messi’s seventh match with Inter Miami last summer, and the win marked Inter Miami’s first championship in its four-year franchise history.

Messi scored in the 23rd minute. Nashville’s Fafá Picault scored in the 57th minute. And both sides were inches away from winning it in the final minutes of regulation before needing 22 total penalty kicks to decide it.

Both teams last met on Aug. 30, playing to a scoreless draw.

Will Jordi Alba play against Nashville?

Inter Miami’s Jordi Alba has been dealing with an illness this week. And it didn’t stop coach Tata Martino from being coy when asked whether Alba even made the trip to Nashville.

“Jordi is dealing with a strong flu, we will evaluate him to see if he’s fit to play. They’ll have to ring his doorbell at home to see if he’s here,” Martino said with a grin during a news conference Wednesday.

“It’s always important for the opponent to discover who they’re facing when they see the squad list.”

Will Nashville MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar play vs. Inter Miami?

Even Nashville coach Gary Smith was open-ended when he said 2022 MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar had a chance to play Thursday against Inter Miami despite a hamstring injury.

“He’s back in the group and working, and there certainly be a thought about where and how he might be used [Thursday],” Smith said of Mukhtar, who got hurt Feb. 22 during the first leg of their Champions Cup matchup against Dominican team Moca FC.

“But for sure there’s a little bit more disappointment in the last couple of weeks that we’ve not been able to include him in the group, just given the way the injury occurred and how early we thought we all thought we caught it.”

When is Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC second leg?

Inter Miami and Nashville each have a regular-season match Sunday before the second leg of their Champions Cup matchup.

Nashville hosts the L.A. Galaxy at 3 p.m. ET, while Inter Miami will host CF Montreal at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday.

The second leg of their matchup will be at Inter Miami’s Chase Stadium on March 13 at 8:15 p.m. ET.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC Champions Cup: Score, highlights, updates

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