The Mexican side endured a very torrid season in the Liga MX, eventually finishing in a lowly 13th position. But this tournament will surely do plenty to stir motivation amongst the club’s players, as will the incentive of a potential semi-final clash with Real Madrid.
Things are probably even worse for the Wanderers on the domestic front, who are bottom of the Australian A-League at the time of writing. But having been formed just two years ago, the club can look back at 2014 with pride, and a clash with the European Champions would be a magnificent way to end what has been an unexpectedly prosperous year for the team.
Cruz Azul will be the favorites for this one and will surely boast a sizable chunk of possession at the Stade Moulay-Abdallah. But the men from Sydney play with a real ferocity and with the pressure off, they’ll surely relish this challenge, as they have done with the vast majority of their big games this year.
Match 2 Winner vs. Real Madrid
The European champions need little introduction ahead of this one, and they’ll be the massive favourites to claim the title. Any notion that they won’t be fully focused here can surely be abated too, as Los Blancos have never won this competition in their illustrious history.
If they can ensure complacency doesn’t creep into their game, Carlo Ancelotti’s men should waltz to victory an pick up what’d be their third major trophy of the year following success in both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
James Rodriguez does look set to miss the tournament because of injury, but Cristiano Ronaldo—looking for his second winners medal in this competition—Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema possess the kind of quality that could see Madrid scythe through opponents in Morocco. It’ll also be a landmark tournament for Toni Kroos, as he will become only the second player to ever feature in two successive Club World Cups for two different teams.
European giants have occasionally come a cropper in this tournament up against unfamiliar opponents and styles, but if Madrid carry a smidgen of their domestic momentum into this tournament, they’ll romp to victory.
Match 1 Winner vs. San Lorenzo
Usually the final of this competition is played between the champions of Europe and South America, and representing the latter this season will be Argentinean side San Lorenzo. On paper they look the most likely team to challenge the might of the Spaniards and will surely fancy their chances against Setif or Wanderers in the semi-final.