Club America vs. Real Madrid: Team News, Preview, Live Stream and TV Info
Real Madrid and Club America go head-to-head in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-finals at the International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, on Thursday.
Two goals from Silvio Romero saw Club America knock out Jeonbuk Motors of South Korea, 2-1, in the quarter-finals to set up the match against Zinedine Zidane’s side.KAZUHIRO NOGI/Getty Images
Real won the tournament two years ago by beating Argentinian team San Lorenzo 2-0 in the final in Morocco.
Read on for a full preview, but first, here are the live-stream details, plus team news ahead of the match.
Date: Thursday, December 15
Time: 10:30 a.m. GMT/ 5:30 a.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1 (U.S.)
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go (U.S.)
Real go into the match in Yokohama ready to welcome back several players who were rested for their 3-2 La Liga win over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric were all left out but are likely to be used by Zidane, who has taken a strong squad to Japan as he bids to land the trophy, per Fifa.com.
Gareth Bale remains sidelined with an ankle injury that has seen him miss Real’s last three matches, per Transfermarket.co.uk.
Predicted Club America lineup:Moises Munoz, Bruno Valdez, Miguel Samudio, Michael Arroyo, Paolo Goltz, Pablo Aguilar, Osvaldo Martinez, William da Silva, Oribe Peralta, Carlos Quintero, Silvio Romero.
Predicted Real Madrid lineup: Keylor Navas, Danilo, Marcelo, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Lucas Vasquez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.
The Club World Cup started in 2000, but 2014’s triumph remains Real Madrid’s only victory in the competition to date.
However, the event appears to have come at the ideal time for in-form Real, as they are now at the start of a domestic season break and will not return to league action until January 7 at home to Granada.Denis Doyle/Getty Images Per Anthony Hay for Mail Online, the Spanish club were afforded a hero’s welcome when they arrived in Japan earlier this week in preparation for the semi-final.
The quality that manager Zidane has available to him should see comfortable progress to a final against either Atletico Nacional or Kashima Antlers on Sunday.
For their part, Club America are in bullish mood and coach Ricardo La Volpe is happy for his side to play without pressure, per Fifa.com:
“We didnt come here to make up the numbers. My players came to show they were competitive. Well go out to play Real Madrid without any kind of burden on our shoulders. Were going to play a great side and were going to see what were made of.”MARIA CALLS/Getty Images
Per the report, Club America defender Miguel Samudio joked he entertainment news articles didn’t fear the Spanish giants.
He said: “It’s a great opportunity for us and nothing is impossible in this life. They have two legs and a head. Theyre human. In the end, though, we all know what team we’re coming up against.”
As noted by Marca, Club America are currently on a 16-match unbeaten record, but it looks unlikely they will be able to hold off the strength of their more illustrious opponents.
Unfortunately for the Mexican side, by resting key players last weekend, particularly freshly crowned Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, it appears that Zidane means business and is approaching the tournament very seriously.GERARD JULIEN/Getty Images
Real have been in fine form so far this season and victory over Deportivo saw them notch up a club record 35 matches unbeaten.
The injury-time win sent them six points clear at the top of La Liga and they have also progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League clash where they will face Italy’s Napoli over two legs.
As the La Liga season break has arrived, the competition should provide a good tester as Zidane will look for his players to maintain their winning run.
And with Ronaldo, Benzema and Modric fresh for the challenges of the week ahead, it looks likely they will prove too unstoppable in their quest for a second-ever Club World Cup success.