FIFA Club World Cup 2021
2021 is already behind us, but did you by any chance forget that we still have the FIFA Club World Cup 2021 ahead of us? Initially slated for last summer, the tournament was pushed back, and the venue was changed several times for well-known reasons. And finally, the event is just one week away and has to be already present on anyone’s sports betting schedule!
Although the new calendar turns out to be rich in various competitions, the FIFA Club World Cup 2021 is an important event in the soccer realm, so if you’re into betting online on football, it shouldn’t be passed by.
Notably, FIFA has made a number of adjustments to the tournament’s format; however, this won’t impact the upcoming championship that will be held under the old system.
So, who will challenge for the world’s best football club title, how will the Club World Cup competition run, and what’s in store? Find out in our article to get ready to make only accurate predictions and place winning bets on FIFA Club World Cup 2021!
2021 FIFA Club World Cup: format, teams-participants, and fixtures
The Club World Cup 2021 will run from February 3 to February 12, 2022. The United Arab Emirates has been chosen as the host country. Earlier, the soccer championship was planned to take place in Japan, but the Land of the Rising Sun refused to hold the event.
As the regulation continued with the traditional one, seven participants will compete in the tournament – one representative from each continent plus the host country’s national champion.
As usual, the Club World Cup consists of four rounds, but the competition includes different passes to the more advanced stages, depending on the strength of each Confederation.
Thus, in the first round, As Pirae, nominated by the OFC (Oceania Football Federation), faces Al Jazira, current champion of the Emirates. The winner advances to the quarterfinals to face Al Hilal, the Saudi champions of the ACL. For the semifinal slot, Al Ahly, the Egyptian victor of the African Champions League, competes with Monterrey, the Mexican champion of the North and Central American Champions League.
Brazil’s Palmeiras and England’s Chelsea enter the semifinals directly. To reach the final, the Brazilian team will need to beat Al Ahly or Monterrey, while the English will have to triumph over Al Hilal, Al Jazira, or As Pirae. The losers of the quarterfinals fight for 5th place, while the losers of the semifinals contend for the bronze medal. The semifinal winners meet in the FIFA Club World Cup 2021 final to determine the champion.
Let’s take a closer look at all the participants, their strengths and capabilities.
Champions League victor, Thomas Tuchel’s squad, arrives as the obvious leader in this race, despite the failure of the previous attempt to win the title. Counting on Jorginho and N’Golo Kanté in midfield, the London FC has concrete defense led by Brazilian center back Thiago Silva. And in the attack, the Blues can brag about the strengths of Belgian Romelu Lukaku and English Mason Mount.
A real ‘pain in the neck’ – this is how Saudi Arabia’s FC can be described. With a great lineup coached by Venezuelan Leonardo Jardim, a former Monaco and Sporting lead, the squad will be a problem for any opponent! Some of the world-renowned players are here to show their paces, with Brazilian Matheus Pereira, Peruvian Andre Carrillo, and Argentine Luciano Vietto among them.
For the fifth time, Monterrey comes to the championship and promises to make things difficult for any adversary! Although Javier Aguirre’s FC has never reached the final here, it has an experienced and valuable lineup. Forwards Duván Vergara and Joel Campbell, midfielders Carlos Rodriguez and Maximiliano Meza, defender Hector Moreno, and many other talents will definitely demonstrate a decent level of play.
Twice CWC bronze medalist, Egyptian Al Ahly participates in the competition for the seventh time! Without an expensive lineup, Cairo’s FC is mainly counting on the work of South African Pitso Mosimane, goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy, and skilled midfielder Afsha. Also, striker Percy Tau recently arrived from England’s Brighton is hopeful of goals!
Led by Marcel Keizer, a Dutchman with a stint at Ajax, Al Jazira looks powerful and promising! With star players Ali Mabkhout and Khalfan Mubarak, as well as Brazilian striker Bruno, the competitor enters the playoffs standing a good chance of reaching the quarterfinals!
The Tahitian club was hastily invited to participate in the championship in place of Auckland City, the Oceania champion that withdrew from the competition due to the deterioration of the situation with the well-known virus in New Zealand. AS Pirae is a nine-time national champion and, currently, ranks fourth in the Tahiti League. The FC reached the final of the Oceania Champions League only once – in 2006 when it was beaten by Auckland City itself.
By winning the 2021 Libertadores in Montevideo, Palmeiras has secured the semifinal spot here for the second time. The team returns to the tournament a season after losing to Mexico’s Tigres in the semifinals and intends to live out its dream. Headed by such talents as Danilo, Patrick de Paul, Gabriel Menino, and Gabriel Verona, ‘Alviverde’ should not be taken lightly. It has all the potential to bring the fight to Chelsea in the final if both of them reach it.
Who will win the trophy?
There is no doubt that in every other edition, the main favorite to win the competition is a representative of the European continent. Europe has the best leagues with the strongest clubs and players, and they almost always win World Football Cups. Thus, Madrid’s Real and Catalonia’s Barcelona have four and three titles, respectively, while Corinthians of Brazil has won the CWC only twice. In the previous season, the trophy was won by Bayern Munich that in the final defeated Mexico’s Tigres UANL with a score of 1-0.
In the 2021 edition, Europe will be represented by London’s Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel’s squad beat Manchester City 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League final and won the UEFA Super Cup, having smashed Villarreal. In terms of lineup and level of play, the British club is much stronger than the opponents from other continents, so it is more likely that the ‘Pensioners’ will take home the trophy. However, it is Chelsea that is currently the last European team to lose at the 2012 CWC. That time the Londoners lost to Corinthians 0-1…