Real Madrid will play once again at the ZSC Stadium in Abu Dhabi when they take on Abu Dhabi side Al Ain in the Club World Cup Final. It was just this past Wednesday when Real Madrid defeated Kashima Antlers 3-1 in the semi-final. Now, Real will play in their 3rd Club World Cup Final in as many years.
First, it was Kashima that Real defeated in 2016 to win their first in this series of Club World Cup titles. Then, it was Brazilian club Gremio that Real took down this time last year. Now, Real will take on the third place team in the Arabian Gulf League to capture their first potential hardware this season, after dropping the Super Cup to Atlético.
After Gareth Bale scored a hat trick against Kashima, he will once again be looked towards to lead the squad to gold on Saturday. Many had River Plate as Real Madrid’s opponents penciled in already, before they fell in penalties to Al Ain. Real have the chance to match their three Champions League wins in a row with three Club World Cup titles in the same timespan.
Real Madrid will now be without Marco Asensio for at least three weeks, as has been reported by MARCA. He did not feature against Kashima after picking up the knock against Vallecano last weekend. Mariano remains out as well after not featuring on the bench against Kashima.
Al Ain have no injuries to their squad for Saturday’s match.
There are no suspensions for this match for either side.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Llorente, Kroos; Vazquez, Bale, Benzema
The starting should look similar to what was featured against Kashima on Wednesday. Casemiro appears to be available, but Llorente seems to have caught Solari’s trust in his absence. Vazquez will likely start again since Asensio remains out for a longer term moving forward.
Eisa; Mohamed, Ahmed, Fayez, Shiotani; Abdulrahman, Barman, Doumbia; El Shahat, Caio; Berg
Real Madrid-Al Ain 4-1
Real Madrid are once again the favorites for this match. They played well against Kashima, most noticeably was obviously Bale’s performance. Real should be able to score against Al Ain, though there’s always a chance at an upset realistically-speaking.
Real have a chance to win another Club World Cup title on Saturday, which would be a welcome addition in what has been a criticized season so far. After dropping the Super Cup, this is their next chance to add to the trophy cabinet.
It will be an interesting match, especially in regards to how Al Ain is able to stack up against Real Madrid. Al Ain will be in front of their home city on Saturday, that may give them momentum to play well when they are being held as the underdogs going into the match.