The FIFA Club World Cup is still very much on in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Eight clubs are out there representing their continents in the quest to win the trophy. In the past few days, some games have already been played. The boys have fallen by the road side as the men progress to the latter stages to face the giants.
Only a handful of games remain to be played in the competition. Most important of them all is the semi-final and the final of the competition.
In the first semi-final, Copa Libertadores winners, River Plate, will take on home-based Al-Ain. This is not the first time the Argentine side will feature in the Club World Cup competition. In 2015, they lost the final to Barcelona.
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To achieve that feat again, they have to find their way past the host team, a side that has been scoring goals for fun since their first game. Against Team Wellington, they came from 3 goals down to draw the game and win via penalties.
Against ES Tunis, Al Ain scored 3 more goals to bring their Club World Cup tally to six and qualify for the semis. The last time they failed to score at least 2 goals in a game was in the 0:0 draw with Emirates Club in the UAE Arabian Gulf Cup.
Will Al Ain be able to score a hattrick of goals against the Argentines also?
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In the other semi-final game, Champions League winners, Real Madrid will take on Kashima Antlers. The Spanish giants have not exactly enjoyed a roller-coaster ride this season. Theirs has been a topsy-turvy season with losses intertwined with wins. These days, you never know which version of Real Madrid you will get.
The Japanese side will know this first hand and will be looking to make the most of it. They have already played a game, beating Guadalajara 3-2. That winning was a continuation of their fine run of form in recent times. It was their 6th win in the past 10 games.
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Going into this game, revenge will be at the back of their minds. In the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup, both sides played in the final. The Asian Champions League winners lost that final 4-2 as Real Madrid won the trophy.
Los Blancos are the reigning champions. They have a chance to win the trophy for a third successive year. Luka Modric has come out to say Real Madrid is “more motivated when a trophy is at stake.”
Which of these four sides is motivated enough to win their semi-final game and qualify for the final? Leave us your comments and share your thoughts with us.