The Club World Cup is in its final round, as the European Champion, Chelsea are to play the Brazilian side Palmeiras this Saturday. The teams are all ready to play in Abu Dhabi.
Thomas Tuchel’s first decision after landing in Abu Dhabi is which goalkeeper to start against the Brazilian side.
The Chelsea manager is giving serious consideration to dropping Kepa Arrizabalaga, who hasn’t been great for the Blues. Mendy, on the contrary, was with the winning side of Senegal, who won the AFCON.
Chelsea were asking more questions than they answered with their performance on Wednesday against Al Hilal. The Blues jumped into the final of the FIFA Club World Cup with a 1-0 win over the Saudi Arabian club in a game that was completely unexpected for them.
It was the same old song and dance from the reigning European Champions as they failed to put a game away late after taking a lead. They were quite average and struggled to play comfortably.
It would be good to gain some momentum for the English side, as they go into the Round of 16 of the UCL this month. A trophy could boost their confidence and bring stability to the team.
Palmeiras should need no introduction as they are arguably the most successful club in Brazilian football and are the back-to-back defending Champions of South America.
It’s offseason for the Brazilian Serie A at the moment. Palmeiras finished only third last year, behind Flamengo in second and well behind runaway leaders Atlético Mineiro.
They’re not the stereotypical non-European side one might expect if they come from the sort of old school thinking that can permeate football media in general.
Raphael Veiga is perhaps their best asset on the field. He opened the scoring in their 2-0 semifinal win over Al Ahly. His glory days may be behind him, but this big stage may yet inspire a revival.
Chelsea predicted XI: Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Lukaku, Ziyech
Palmeiras predicted XI: Weverton; Rocha, Gomez, Luan, Piquerez; Danilo, Rafael; Dudu, Veiga, Scarpa; Rony
Where to Watch?
The game will be played at 11:30 AM (ET), at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and will be streamed live on Foxsports.com, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports App and Fox Sports 2.
Chelsea, are one of the best clubs in the world. They are also better when it comes to big games. It would be excruciatingly difficult for Palmeiras to topple them.
Our Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Palmeiras