Chelsea face Palmeiras on Saturday in the 2021 Club World Cup finals. The Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi will host the match.
It will be the second time the west London side has played in the competition’s final, and they will be looking to win their maiden title on Saturday. The Blues lost in the final of their only previous Club World Cup appearance, beaten by another Brazilian club, Corinthians, in 2012.
Like Chelsea, Palmeiras are making their second Club World Cup appearance after a fourth-place finish on their debut in Qatar last year. In the third-place match, they were beaten 1-0 by Mexican side Tigres in the semi-finals before losing on penalties to Al Ahly of Egypt.
As South American champions, they also appeared in the forerunner to this tournament, the Intercontinental Cup, in 1999 but lost 1-0 to Manchester United in Tokyo.
Chelsea qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup as the UEFA Champions League winners, and Palmeiras qualified as the Copa Libertadores Champions.
On Wednesday, the European club defeated Al-Hilal in their semi-final, while their opponents got the better of Egyptian giants Al-Ahly to reach the final.
Chelsea had a tough match against Al-Hilal in the semi-final. The team played without their usual momentum, and the absence of Thomas Tuchel on the sideline affected them. Tuchel tested positive for Covid-19 before the tournament, and he is still in London.
Chelsea’s second goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is having a great season where he kept four clean sheets in seven matches. Al-Hilal took 15 shots in the game, and the brilliance of the Spaniard stopped them from scoring. Reece James has been ruled out of the tournament due to his having suffered a setback in his recovery from injury.
Mason Mount will probably be in the starting XI after coming off the bench in the semi-final. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ben Chilwell are sidelined due to injuries.
Palmeiras were knocked out of the tournament last season in the semi-final. After losing in the Club World Cup, Palmeiras became the first side to retain the Copa Libertadores trophy since 2001 last season, as they defeated Brazilian giants Flamengo 2-1 in a dramatic final where Deyverson scored the winning goal in extra time.
This year, they won the semi-final dominantly after beating Al Ahly for two goals. Raphael Veiga and Dudu scored the goals for the Brazilian side.
Palmeiras will probably go with the same line they had in the semi-final.
The 10-time Brazilian champions will now look to end their nation’s 10-year wait for a Club World Cup triumph and take the trophy back to South America
Kick-off: Saturday, February 12
Time: 4:30pm GMT
Venue: Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
h2h: First-ever meeting
Form Guide (all competitions): Chelsea – WWWDL, Palmeiras – WWDWW