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Al-Jazira v Real Madrid: FIFA Club World Cup 2017

Real Madrid v Kashima Antlers- FIFA Club World Cup Final
Real Madrid beat Kashima Antlers to lift the FIFA Club World Cup last year
Vinay Simha
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 12 Dec 2017, 09:55 IST
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The European champions take on Al-Jazira on Wednesday at Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi in the Semi-finals of the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup.

The 2016 FIFA Club World Cup winners seem to be the clear favourites to lift the trophy again this time around, after winning it last season. Los Blancos come into this game after the weekend's 5-0 rout against Sevilla, where Ronaldo scored a brace in the Spanish top-flight.

Real Madrid entered the competition by virtue of their UEFA Champions League triumph last season. Zinedine Zidane's men are the only team that have won back-to-back Champions League trophies, and thus, will be the first European side to try and defend their FIFA Club World Cup trophy, since the inception of the competition.

Cristiano Ronaldo will come out fresh, looking to add more silverware to his trophy case after clinching his 5th Ballon d'Or, equalling arch-rival Lionel Messi's tally.

Real Madrid team news

Dani Carvajal, Casemiro and Sergio Ramos returning to the squad after they missed out on the weekend's domestic game against Sevilla due to suspension. Gareth Bale has returned to training following his recovery from his calf injury which he picked in Copa del Rey against Fuenlabrada on 28th November.

The Welshman will be looking forward to making an appearance in Wednesday's game. Raphael Varane also returned to training after picking up a muscle blow during the week's victory over Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League which forced him to be sidelined in weekend's 5-0 win over Sevilla.

All in all, Madrid will be the closest to full strength than they have been all season, and we all know how things pan out when that happens.

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Who are Al-Jazira?

Al-Jazira are the title winners of UAE's top flight, Arabian Gulf League. The local side come into this game with a 1-0 win over Auckland City FC in the playoffs and another 1-0 win over 2017 AFC Champions, Urawa Red Diamonds in the quarter-finals.

The team will be well prepared to face the European Champions, as their manager Ali Mabkhout told his side will be playing "for the whole of UAE".

Watch the highlights of the two games Al-Jazira played against Auckland City FC and Urawa Red Diamonds to secure the Semifinal spot.

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When and where to watch the game?

Wednesday, 13th December 2017, 10:30 PM IST. That's 5:00 PM GMT

Neo Sports (In India)

Published 12 Dec 2017, 09:55 IST
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