Bayern Munich face Tigres UANL in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup on Thursday evening, with the Mexican side eyeing up their first ever Club World Cup win.
For those unaware of how the competition works, the Club World Cup is a tournament contested internationally by champions of their respective continents. Tigres won the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League which earned them a place in the quarter-final, while Bayern winning the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League earned them a place in the semi-final.
Hansi Flick’s side dispatched of Egyptian side Al Ahly in a 2-0 semi-final victory to book their place in the final, while Tigres racked up wins against Korean side Ulsan Hyundai and Copa Libertadores winners Palmeiras on their route to the final, becoming the first CONCACAF side to make it that far.
Hosted in Qatar, here’s 90min‘s preview of the intercontinental clash.
When is the game? Thursday 11 February
What time is kick off? 18:00 (GMT)
Where is it played? Education City Stadium, Qatar
TV Channel/live stream? BBC iPlayer/BBC Red Button/BBC Sport website
Bayern are without midfield pair Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez who have stayed in Munich despite plans for the duo to join up with the squad. Goalkeeper Alexander Nubel is out with an ankle injury, meaning Manuel Neuer will likely resume in goal, while Tanguy Nianzou is also unavailable.
For Tigres, history has already been made by them becoming the first CONCACAF side to get as far as the Club World Cup final, but going one extra and managing to beat Die Roten would be the icing on the cake.
Veteran French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac is to Mexico and CONCACAF what Lewandowski is to European football. He’s become Tigres’ all-time leading goal scorer since his arrival in 2015 and scored the penalty that saw them through to the final. The Mexican giants have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the encounter.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Tolisso; Coman, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski.
Tigres: Guzman; Rodriguez, Reyes, Salcedo, Duenas; Aquino, Rafael Carioca, Pizarro, Quinones; Gonzalez, Gignac.
Al Ahly 0-2 Bayern Munich (8/2)
Hertha 0-1 Bayern Munich (5/2)
Bayern Munich 4-1 Hoffenheim (30/1)
Schalke 0-4 Bayern Munich (24/1)
Augsburg 0-1 Bayern Munich (20/1)
Palmeiras 0-1 Tigres (7/2)
Tigres 2-1 Ulsan Hyundai (4/2)
Tigres 1-1 Necaxa (29/1)
Atlas 0-2 Tigres (24/1)
Santos Laguna 2-0 Tigres (18/1)
As nice as it would be to be able to boldly write that the underdogs are going to defy the odds, do the unthinkable and turn over Bayern Munich, it isn’t all that likely.
The Club World Cup has been won by a European side in each of the last seven seasons. Bayern haven’t had the chance to participate since their 2013 win and will understand the importance of reclaiming this crown.
Andre-Pierre Gignac is the talisman to keep an eye on for Tigres and could cause defenders a problem, but the trophy is heading back to Germany.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Tigres