On this week’s show we focus on the FIFA Club World Championship taking place in Japan in which Manchester United are the hot favourites. In addition, we also:
- Review the football news in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- Introduce a new football expression in English for Football
- And continue the predictions battle in the predictions competition
- For learners of English check out our new Football Language Resources page with:
- Football glossary (a huge collection of football vocabulary, cliches and football phrases)
- Worksheets and transcripts
The Club World Cup kicks off in Japan this week, and it is the fourth year running that FIFA’s club championship has been held there. This time last year we were treated to a great final between the big guns from Europe and South America, AC Milan and Boca Juniors. The Milanese won that thriller 4-2. What hope this year of a non-European, or non-South American side winning or even getting to the final? Well, let’s take a look at the teams in the tournament.
Well, first of all we have seven teams, not six starting. As Gamba Osaka, the reigning Asian Champions Cup champions are the Japanese representatives. Usually, it is the J-league champions – last year, and this year, it was Kashima Antlers, but as there cannot be two Japanese sides, the runners up in the ACL, Adelaide step in and will face New Zealanders and the Oceania Champions, Waitakere United. Now, last year Waikatere went out in the first game losing 3-1 and you can expect the same here. Forget the fact that New Zealand and Australia are sporting rivals, the side from Adelaide should have too much for the boys from New Zealand.
The winner of this game will play Gamba Osaka, who finished a disappointing eighth in their domestic league. They will be expecting to meet, and beat, Adelaide, repeating their comfortable victory in the ACL finals – that fixture finished 5-0 on aggregate. That match will take place in Toyota on the 14th of December.
A day before in Tokyo, Al-Ahly from Egypt, bring real history and pedigree from their domestic league and African football to the Club Championship. Celebrating their 100th anniversary last year, with a domestic record 33 championships, the Egyptians will be no pushovers for Pachuca, the ‘Gophers’, from Mexico, the CONCACAF champions. While this outfit has only been in the top flight for 10 years, it is the oldest club in Mexico – founded in 1901. This game may be one of the most entertaining.
On the 17th and 18th the giants enter the competition. LDU Quito, the dark horse winners of the Copa Libertadores, will take on the winners of the Al-Ahly v Pachuca game, while Manchester United will pit their stars against either Osaka, Adelaide or Waitakere. Ferguson has been reminding the British press that his team from Manchester are the only British team to have won one of the various world club championships – back in 1999. Can they do it? They’ll probably have to dispatch a passionate Osaka side backed by a home crowd on a cold Yokohama night, and then, probably, LDU – and the Ecuadoreans, who were the first side from their country to win the Copa Libertadores, will also want to be the first club from their country to raise the World Club Championship.
By the way, if you fancy tickets for next year’s competition it won’t be so cold – it’s going to be held in Abu Dhabi.