22 Dec 2018
Real Madrid vs Al-Ain: FIFA Club World Cup Final tonight
Real are two-time consecutive winners of the title and will be defending the trophy after beating Kashima Antlers in the semi-finals.
Will Solari win his first silverware with the senior team tonight?
Let's discuss here.
Al Ain FC
A small introduction to Real's opponent, Al-Ain
Al-Ain are the most successful club of UAE, having won their top-flight league, the UAE Pro-League, a record 13 times.
They were also the winners of the 2003 AFC Champions League, becoming the first Emirati club ever to do so.
They defeated the 2018 Copa Libertadores champions River Plate in the semi-finals of this Club World Cup to book their spot in the finals.
Los Blancos running high on confidence after Bale's hattrick
Real Madrid will be brimming with confidence after managing to beat Kashima Antlers 3-1 with a spectacular 11-minute hattrick by Gareth Bale.
However, they will be missing out on the services of star forward Asensio who was injured during their semi-final match against Kashima Antlers and can be out of action for a month.
However, they will be the clear favorites tonight.
Comments from the two managers ahead of the clash
Santiago Solari said that Real Madrid would not be taking Al-Ain lightly after the way they managed to beat River Plate in the semis.
However, he admitted winning the title thrice successively is a great opportunity for Real.
The Al-Ain coach has conceded that Real are the favorites, and said that Ain would concentrate on stopping the whole team and no particular player.
Real had fallen under pressure from Al-Jazira last season
Real faced Al-Jazira in the Club World Cup semi-final last season, and surprisingly, had a tough time beating their middle-eastern opponents.
After not managing to score for a long time, the Spanish giants conceded a goal, but thanks to second-half strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale, found themselves in the final, where they got the better of Brazilian outfit Gremio.