In Morocco, where the Club World Cup is taking place these days, the time has come for decisive matches. On February 8, in the semi-finals of the World Championships, the best African team of the past season, the Egyptian Al-Ahli, and the best European team of the past year, the Spanish Real, will meet.
Al-Ahly from the capital of Egypt, Cairo, is one of the most titled clubs not only in the country, but also on the African continent. He became the champion of Egypt 42 times, won the African Champions League ten times.
On its continent, Al-Ahli, now coached by renowned Swiss coach Marcel Koller, has dominated the last three seasons. In 2020 and 2021, the Cairo won the final of the African Champions League, but last year they lost to the Moroccan Vidad in the main match of the season. Despite the defeat, both of these clubs have played in the current Club World Cup.
Al-Ahly began its journey to the semi-finals from the first stage of the tournament. In the match against New Zealand’s Auckland City, Koller’s wards dominated virtually throughout the game. And in the end they got a confident victory – 3:0. El-Shahad, Sheriff and Tau scored goals.
In the second round, the Egyptians fell to a stronger opponent – the American Seattle Sounders (by the way, the first club from the USA to win the CONCACAF Champions League). The duel turned out to be stubborn and nervous. Al-Ahly managed to pull out a minimal victory with two minutes left in regulation thanks to Magdi’s accurate shot.
Real Madrid is the winner of the European Champions League, and as such, the Madrid club is exempt from the preliminary rounds of the Club World Cup (a representative of Latin America can also boast of a similar privilege – this time it is the Brazilian Flamengo). “Creamy” will start immediately from the semi-finals of the KChM.
In this competition, “Madrid” has already become a triumph four times. And on the sidelines, Morocco can issue a fifth title for itself.
The game form in which Carlo Ancelotti’s wards approach the game against Al-Ahly can hardly be called ideal. “Creamy” frankly storm in the domestic arena.
After the restart of the championship of Spain, “Madrid” alternates bright fights with failures. And there are more failures than victories.
Madrid lost in the final of the Spanish Super Cup to Barcelona, lost two championship fights – Villarreal and Mallorca. La Liga leaders Barcelona are already eight points behind. And “Real”, bathed in the rays of glory last season, this season came under a real barrage of criticism.
Two leading players of the Madrid team, forward Benzema and goalkeeper Courtois, will not play against Al Ahly. In both injuries. They can return to action by the finals of the KChM. If Madrid gets there.
So we can say that Ukrainian goalkeeper Andrei Lunin will play for Real Madrid in at least one match of the tournament.
Al-Ahli: El Shenawi, Hani, Metwalli, Monem, Malul, Dieng, Fati, El Sulayya, Tau, Magdi, Kahraba
“Real”: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Valverde, Tchuameni, Modric, Asensio, Rodrigo, Vinicius.
It is unlikely that the Club World Cup is the prerogative of Real Madrid. Considering that in the domestic arena, things are not going well for the “creamy” ones, they will most likely focus on a successful performance in the Champions League.
However, this does not mean at all that Ancelotti’s team will “score” at the KChM. Despite the low status of this competition, losing it to a representative of Europe is by no means comme il faut. If Real don’t win the tournament, it will be a huge reputational blow. It is unlikely that the “royal club” can afford such an oversight.
In addition, the statistics are on the side of the Madrid team. The last time a UEFA representative did not win the Club World Cup was in 2012 (at that time it was Chelsea). Since then, European clubs have consistently won the tournament.
If nothing supernatural happens, Madrid will win this time as well. In any case, he is head and shoulders above Al-Ahli in all game respects.
Wednesday, February 8
Al Ahly – Real Madrid
Moulay Abdulli sports complex (Morocco, Rabat). 21:00 TV broadcast – Megogo Referee: Andres Matonte (Uruguay) Prediction Aroged – 0:3
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