Chelsea’s quest to win the Club World Cup will begin on Wednesday when they take on Saudi Arabian champions Al Hilal in the semi-final.
Chelsea are yet to win this competition, falling short in the 2012 final against Brazilian side Corinthians, but they are looking to complete an international treble under Thomas Tuchel following victories in the Champions League and Super Cup.
The Blues will face Al Hilal side that thumped Al Jazira 6-1 in the second round to book their place in the semi-final.
Here’s all you need to know about the match:
When is kick off? Wednesday 9 February, 16:30 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium
TV channel/live stream? E4 (UK), Fox Sports/fubo TV (US)
Highlights? FIFA YouTube channel
Al Hilal team news: There will be plenty of familiar faces on show for Al Hilal. Former West Brom star Matheus Pereira is the biggest name and will likely line up in a team with Moussa Marega and Odion Ighalo, formerly of Porto and Manchester United respectively.
Chelsea team news: Right-back Reece James was included in Chelsea’s squad for this tournament, but it’s a little unlikely that he’ll actually make an appearance while he continues to recover from his thigh injury.
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has been away with Africa Cup of Nations winners Senegal and is yet to link up with the squad. He’s not expected to make it in time for this one but should be ready for the final if Chelsea get there.
Mason Mount and Cesar Azpilicueta both picked up knocks against Plymouth in the FA Cup but aren’t expected to be out of action for too long. Ruben Loftus-Cheek might not feature after missing the Plymouth game with a knock, while Ben Chilwell remains out.
Score prediction: Fourth in the Saudi league, Al Hilal arrive at this game in pretty impressive form. They’re unbeaten in their last six games and have lost just once in their last eight matches in all competitions.
That being said, are they better than Chelsea? Tuchel’s men will be the favourites in every game they play at this tournament, but despite having the best squad, they haven’t been particularly good to watch recently, with their 2-1 win over Plymouth about as tough to watch as they come.
Chelsea should win this, but on recent form, it might not be emphatic victory.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Al Hilal
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