FIFA Club World Cup Betting Preview

Continental champions from across the globe will descend on Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup in December.

As winners of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are the team to beat in this competition, so will anyone be able to deny the Citizens their first title in the tournament?

City stuttering into this competition

While City are firm favourites to come out on top in the 2023 Club World Cup, they go into the tournament struggling for form.

After a four-match winless run in the Premier League, they got back to winning ways last time out with a 2-1 win against Luton Town.

Going behind to a late goal in the first half at Kenilworth Road, Guardiola’s side were made to work hard for the three points.

In the end goals from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish saw City overcome the Premier League newcomers but the performance further highlighted the European champions are yet to hit top gear.

Much like last season, when they fell eight points behind Arsenal at one stage, City have had their troubles in the first half of the campaign but they can be expected to find their rhythm in the new year when it matters.

Winning the Club World Cup would certainly boost confidence in the City camp and the chance to get away from the British weather in December might well give the squad a lift.

City have a bye into the semi-finals, where they will face the winner of Mexican outfit Leon against Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds.

The Citizens should have a straightforward route through to the final on December 22, with a couple of teams in contention to potentially face Guardiola’s star-studded side.

Tip 1 – Al-Ittihad to beat Auckland City and both teams to score @ 12/5

With home advantage in Saudi Arabia, Al-Ittihad will be hoping they can make a statement by winning the Club World Cup in their own backyard.

Al-Ittihad will have to play three games if they are to reach the final, starting on Tuesday December 12 when they face Auckland City at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.

Auckland will try to make themselves tough to beat but Al-Ittihad – whose squad includes N’Golo Kante, Fabinho and Karim Benzema – should have too much quality for the New Zealand outfit.

It will be intriguing to see how the trio of stars at Al-Ittihad fare in this competition after making big-money moves to Saudi Arabia over the summer.

Al-Ittihad have hardly dazzled in the Saudi Pro League this season and find themselves in fifth place in the standings, with 16 points between themselves and frontrunners Al-Hilal.

Conceding in all of their last six games in all competitions, Al-Ittihad have had their issues at the back and it would be little surprise to see Auckland get on the scoresheet.

A win over Auckland should be a confidence booster for Al-Ittihad but they would then face Al Ahly and then potentially a much sterner challenge against South America’s champions Fluminense.

Tip 2 – Al-Ittihad to beat Fluminense 2-1

With the Club World Cup schedule falling in pre-season for Brazilian side Fluminense, there is a chance they could be slightly undercooked going into the competition.

Having won the Copa Libertadores for the first time in their history this year, it has been a special time for the Rio de Janeiro club.

To win the Copa Libertadores while finishing only seventh in Brazil’s Serie A, showed what Fluminense are capable of in a cup competition.

Likely to face Al-Ittihad after a bye through to the semi-finals, Fluminense will potentially have a tricky game against the Saudi Arabian outfit.

Al-Ittihad, assuming they make it past Auckland, will fancy their chances of taking down the Brazilians.

While they might find themselves conceding once again, with Benzema in their ranks they have enough firepower to edge past the Brazilians.

Tip 3 – Manchester City to win the Club World Cup

While City have not been in scintillating form heading into the competition, their squad is blessed with the talent that can do the business in Saudi Arabia.

In the last 16 FIFA Club World Cups, the reigning European champions going into the tournament have won the competition 15 times.

One has to go back to the Corinthians side of 2012 to find the last team outside of Europe to lift the trophy.

The last two English champions Liverpool (2019) and Chelsea (2021) have beaten Brazilian opposition in their respective finals.

With Al-Ittihad inconsistent in the Saudi Pro League this season and Fluminense yet to get their domestic campaign underway, it’s hard to look past City bringing the trophy home to Manchester.

To discover the full betting market on the FIFA Club World Cup, visit our dedicated page.

Take Time to Think | | 18+

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