Lionel Messi, Inter Miami face Liga MX club Monterrey in Champions Cup: Updates of Leg 2

Lionel Messi is fully healthy again, and the stage is set: He’ll play his biggest Inter Miami game on Wednesday night against Liga MX club Monterrey in the second leg of their Concacaf Champions Cup matchup.

Monterrey coach Fernando Ortiz praised Messi during his prematch press conference Tuesday, but emphasized his desire to defeat the 2022 World Cup champion.

“We are Monterrey, we are at home with our people. Let Messi worry about us,” Ortiz said. “I think it is somewhat fortunate to be on a court with the best player in the world, to enjoy it. But at the same time we will want to beat him.”

Messi received a hero’s welcome in Mexico by fans, who serenaded him with greetings outside Inter Miami’s team hotel on Tuesday. The reception was a reminder Messi is still the greatest show in soccer, and the recent war of words between both clubs might not incite such a ruckus crowd for the match at Monterrey’s BBVA Stadium, which is one of the host stadiums for the 2026 World Cup.

Monterrey leads 2-1 in aggregate score: Inter Miami needs to outscore Monterrey by two goals to advance. Any tie, outright win by Monterrey, or 1-0 Miami win would oust Messi and Inter Miami from the competition.

How to watch Inter Miami vs. Monterrey live stream?

Inter Miami’s match against Monterrey will be available at 10:30 p.m. ET (11:30 p.m. in Buenos Aires) on FS1 in English and TUDN in Spanish.

A live stream is available via FOX Sports. Streaming also available on fubo.

Will Messi start vs. Monterrey?

Martino did not say whether Messi, who returned from his right hamstring injury last Saturday, would start against Monterrey. But he did say Messi’s injury is fully healthy again.

“Well, he’s fine, he felt good after having played 45 minutes in the league last Saturday,” Martino said. “We still have today’s training, so well, after that we’ll see, but apparently the injury is being left behind, that’s the most important thing.”

Inter Miami vs. Monterrey prediction

Inter Miami 4, Monterrey 2: Monterrey will score early, and Inter Miami’s comeback will begin. Messi’s return only bodes well for one team, and he’ll more than inspired from the fallout after the first match. Messi scores two goals, and Luis Suarez will score two of his own to lead Inter Miami to a thrilling win at Monterrey. — Safid Deen, Lionel Messi reporter

Inter Miami vs. Monterrey odds

Monterrey enters as a +125 favorite, while Inter Miami has +175 odds to win, and a tie has +275 odds. The over/under is set at 3.5 goals, per BETMGM.

Recapping the Messi, Monterrey locker room drama and fiasco

Following Inter Miami’s 2-1 loss without Messi to Monterrey last Wednesday:

∎ Both teams confronted each other in the locker room area after the match, because of Ortiz’s comments before the game. Martino and Inter Miami have declined to comment on the situation.

∎ Monterrey assistant coach Nico Sánchez apologized after he said Messi “wanted to fight me” and threatened to hit him in audio leaked by FOX Sports Mexico. “The dwarf was possessed,” Sánchez said of Messi. “He had the face of the devil.”

∎ Messi returned to score a goal in Inter Miami’s 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids last Saturday.

Who will Inter Miami-Monterrey winner face in Concacaf Champions Cup semifinal?

The winner of Wednesday night’s quarterfinal second leg between Inter Miami and Monterrey will play the Columbus Crew in the Concacaf Champions Cup semifinals.

In Tuesday’s quarterfinal second leg, the Columbus Crew made history by becoming the first MLS team to defeat a Liga MX team after not winning the home leg of the Champions Cup. The Crew did so by prevailing in a penalty shootout.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Will Messi play? Inter Miami vs. Monterrey Champions Cup live updates

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