Chelsea v Palmeiras in the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday in Abu Dhabi

The two top-ranked teams from the FIFA Club World Cup 2022 are set to face off in the final as Chelsea seek revenge against Brazilian club Palmeiras on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

Chelsea last reached the Club World Cup final in 2012 and fell to fellow Brazilian side Corinthians, leaving the Blues without that particular trophy in their case.

In fact, the Club World Cup is the only major trophy Chelsea haven’t won since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

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“It was my first season [with Chelsea]”Said Captain Cesar Azpilicueta during his pre-match press conference. Azpilicueta, now in its 10th year with the club and playing on a contract expiring this summer, would like to apologize for this match, as Chelsea lost 1-0 on a goal from Peruvian international Paolo Guerrero.

“We were in all the competitions, maybe it was easier than it is,” Azpilicueta said. “And then over time you realize how difficult it is, first to qualify in the Premier League for the Champions League, then to go all the way to win that, then to be here. .”

That 2012 loss marks the last time the European representative failed to win the Club World Cup title.

Presentation of Palmeiras and team news

Palmeiras is not a club to be taken lightly. The club, from Sao Paulo, have won the Copa Libertadores two years in a row and are fighting for a treble this year that only two other clubs in history have achieved.

They finished third in last season’s Brazilian Serie A table, a highly competitive league, and they are clearly in the top echelon of domestic clubs eight points clear of the fourth-placed team behind them.

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The Brazilian club are also healthy at the moment, with the team currently preparing for the 2022 Serie A season. Only 19 Henry is missing, after suffering a horrific fracture of the tibia and fibula.

The rest of the squad are fit and ready to go, highlighted by the goalkeeper Weverton who played seven times for the Brazilian senior national team, now 34 and entering his fourth season with the club.

Palmeiras is captain of the Paraguayan international Gustave Gomez who spent two years at AC Milan before moving to Brazil in 2018. His centre-back partner is Brazil international Luan who logged over 3,300 minutes in all competitions last season as a member of Training.

26-year-old semi-final scorer Raphael Veiga, leads the offensive line and is a player who finished last season strong in net. He is supported by a prolific winger Dudu who scored the other semi-final goal for his club.

Palmeiras deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation against Al Ahly, as they have become accustomed to under Portuguese manager Abel Ferreira, who was in charge of Sporting, Braga and PAOK before moving to Palmeiras two years ago .

They held just 42 per cent possession in the semi-final victory and often foul Al Ahly, playing forward with long balls (attempting 81 of them) and hitting 49 per cent of them. they. Expect the same against the Blues

Chelsea preview and team news

Chelsea have spat over the past two months, struggling on multiple competitive fronts, which seemed to undermine the team from their best form. The Blues have won just twice in their last eight Premier League games as their title chase has all but evaporated.

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Still, Chelsea are in a good position to secure a place in the Champions League next season and remain alive in all other competitions this season, both at home and abroad. The Blues are set for an outing to Wembley at the end of the month in the EFL Cup final, they have progressed to the FA Cup round of 16 and they are eyeing a game against Lille in the Champions League round of 16. in addition to the Club World Cup final.

For a club with such fixture congestion, the team’s health is surprisingly strong. Reece James has yet to recover from his long hamstring injury, while Ben Chilwell stays away with his torn ACL. Ruben Loftus-Cheek also did not make it to Abu Dhabi, but the rest of the group is available to compete.

Romelu Lukaku has struggled for recent form but his clumsy goal in the semi-final win over Al Hilal will boost the Belgian’s confidence.

Kai Havertz struggled for time in Chelsea’s crowded attack but his performances made significant contributions. American Christian Pulisic has seen the bench in the semifinals and continues to struggle to break into the starting formation.

Manager Thomas Tuchel has recently switched between his usual three centre-back system and a more traditional four-back formation, but the team appear to be out of the recent valley and on their way back to their best in their preferred formation.

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