11 December, 2012 - 14:50

FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Monterrey vs Chelsea

FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Monterrey vs Chelsea

The ninth FIFA Club World Cup kicked off December 6. Six champion clubs from six continental confederations (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, AFC, CAF, OFC) as well as the host country champions will fight for the title of the best club on the planet. The tournament offers Rafa Benitez an excellent opportunity to silence his critics and deliver the first Club World Cup title in Chelsea’s history. That is why the Spanish coach has decided to take all his big guns to Japan.

The stronger teams start their tournament participation from the later stages (CONCACAF, AFC and CAF champions enter from quarter-final stage, CONMEBOL and UEFA champions join the tournament at the semi-final stage), while the weakest sides are set to pass the knockout qualifying stage. FIFA Club World Cup implements playoff system which means that the losing team is eliminated from the tournament (eliminated teams participate in the consolation games for the fifth and 3rd places). If the score is level after the 90 minutes, then the penalty shootout occurs.

FIFA Club World Cup prize pool equals $16,5 million. The winners receive $5 million, runners-up - $4 million, third-placed team - $2,5 million etc. European teams (Man Utd, Milan, Barcelona and Inter) have claimed four Club World Cup titles.

The draw for the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup has been held in Zurich on September, 24. In the first game of the tournament the host champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat 1-0 the OFC champions Auckland City to progress to the quarter-finals. In the quarter-finals the CAF champions Al-Ahly battled to a 2-1 victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima, while AFC champions Ulsan Hyundai suffered 1-3 defeat to CONCACAF champions Monterrey.

In the semi-finals Al-Ahly are set to play with Corinthians while Chelsea will meet with CONMEBOL champions Monterrey.

Monterrey vs Chelsea: preview

Both Chelsea and Monterrey have something to prove. The Blues have been poor of late with their new coach Rafa Benitez desperately trying to fix the situation. Recent wins over Nordsjaelland (6-1) and Sunderland (3-1) could mean that the Spanish coach has hit the right road. Benitez should wary his players of complacency, as the Mexican side has shown an excellent display against Ulsan Hyundai with the experienced Argentinian midfielder Cesar Delgado scoring two goals. Chelsea will miss Oriel Romeu (knee), Daniel Sturridge (harmstring) and John Terry (knee) due to injuries.

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If you thought Chelsea had problems than you should think twice. Monterrey have travelled to Japan last week and experienced eventful couple of days. Chelsea’s opponent lost their star player to injury, survived an earthquake and was shocked by the news that one of the nation’s favorite pop-stars has tragically died in the plane crush.

Despite the fact that the earthquake with a 7.3 point magnitude hit the eastern part of Japan, it was also felt at Monterrey’s base in Nagoya. Some of the players were frightened others treated it as an adventure. Another shocking piece of news came as the players were moving from Nagoya to Yokogama. Pop-singer Jenni Rivera who is considered one of the most popular Mexican artists has died in a plane crush as she was flying from Monterrey to Toluca.

Monterrey will strive to secure the victory over the mighty opponents, as they want to redeem themselves after the last year’s shameful defeat at the hands of Kashiwa Reysol. Although Monterrey’s key forward Humberto Suazo has suffered thigh muscle injury and travelled home, the rising star Jesus Corona is also capable to pose a threat for the Chelsea defense.

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Photo: dailymail.co.uk, zimbio.com

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Author: Basil Naumov

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11 December 2012, 15:18

Chelsea not good enough to get the title.. No Drogba - no titles..

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12 December 2012, 12:33

They have to attack there.That is tough for Chalski.At least not how they used to claim the titles

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