Inter Miami are back home this weekend, and they may see the return of their star to the field as well. 

After missing Inter Miami’s mid-week match, Lionel Messi returned to practice this week and looks to be in line to start as Inter Miami hosts DC United on Saturday, May 18, at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Without Messi, Inter Miami struggled to create as many key chances in attack and settled for a scoreless draw at Orlando City. 

Even with the draw, Inter Miami still sits in first place in the MLS Eastern Conference, thanks to a league-leading 11 goals plus five assists by Luis Suarez and 10 goals and 10 assists from Messi. 

DC United are led by former Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke, who is tied with Suarez for 11 goals on the season. 

The Sporting News looks at the key details ahead of this game, including how to watch it across the world, kickoff times and the latest lineup news.

MORE: What MLS games are free on Apple TV this week?

What time does Inter Miami vs. DC United kick off?

This MLS clash takes place at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The match is scheduled to kick off on Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Here’s how that time translates across all of the time zones in the United States:

  Date Kickoff time
Eastern Time Sat, May 18 7:30 p.m.
Central Time Sat, May 18 6:30 p.m.
Mountain Time Sat, May 18 5:30 p.m.
Pacific Time Sat, May 18 4:30 p.m.
Alaska ST Sat, May 18 3:30 p.m.
Hawaii ST Sat, May 18 2:30 p.m.

Where to watch Inter Miami vs. DC United, live stream, TV channel

Fans can watch Inter Miami vs. DC United and every league match this season via MLS Season Pass from Apple TV. 

Fans can sign up for a seasonal subscription to MLS Season Pass for $69 for the remainder of the 2024 season (30% off original price of $99).

If Inter Miami vs. DC United is not available to watch live in your location or if you’re traveling abroad, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs offer a secure and private online connection, allowing you to bypass geographical restrictions to access your favorite streaming services from any device anywhere in the world.

WATCH FROM ANYWHERE: Sign up for NordVPN (30-day moneyback guarantee)

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami lineups, team news

With a two-game week to navigate, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see Tata Martino rest Lionel Messi on Wednesday, even in an in-state rivalry match. However, it does put his participation in this match in question as well, should he have a more tangible injury which has not been disclosed by the club. At this point, it’s believed that Messi was simply rested against Orlando City, which would mean he should return to the field here.

Diego Gomez could be nearing a return in the coming weeks from an ankle injury, but is out here, while Federico Redondo is also out but could be on his way back soon. Facundo Farias is out for the season with an ACL tear, while Ian Fray will be brought back slowly from his.

Inter Miami projected starting lineup (4-3-3): Callender (GK) — Weigandt, Aviles, Freire, Negri — Gressel, Busquets, Cremaschi — Messi, Suarez, Rojas.

Inter Miami subs (9): TBC

Unlike Inter Miami with Lionel Messi, D.C. United has deployed 33-year-old striker Christian Benteke at every chance possible as he challenges for the league’s Golden Boot award. After missing two games early in the season due to a slight injury, Benteke has played 807 out of a possible 810 minutes in league play over the last nine matches.

Head coach Troy Lesesne has enjoyed a near fully fit squad to begin 2024.

D.C. United projected starting lineup (3-5-2): Bono (GK) — McVey, Bartlett, Peltola — Herrera, Ku-Dipietro, Hopkins, Klich, Dajome — Stroud, Benteke.

D.C. United subs (9): TBC

Inter Miami vs. DC United prediction

With Lionel Messi expected to be back in action this weekend, we should expect plenty of goals on display in front of a packed Chase Stadium. The connection between Messi and Suarez has never left, despite the two only reuniting this year after many years apart, and they’ll likely combine for a goal or two on Saturday. The big question is how will Inter Miami defensively deal with Benteke?, someone who has a height and strength advantage over most MLS center-backs. 

Prediction: Inter Miami 3-1 DC United


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