Dec 16, 2012

Corinthians - Chelsea

FIFA Club World Cup 2012, Final

My first thoughts on this final (several weeks ago, because I was 99% sure this would be the match-up) were to skip this game. Chelsea were on a bad run of form, and I just couldn't trust them... especially after Benitez took charge. But after seeing the semi-final matches, I pretty much realized that the quality gap between the European teams and the south/central American ones is just too big. Chelsea gave Monterrey no chances, and with some extra-concentration, they could have recorded an even bigger score. Hazard was particularly impressive, as he dribbled the hearts out of Monterrey's players. Now I know there is a difference between Mexican and Brazilian teams, but if Chelsea keeps the same level of performance, they should have anything to worry about. Corinthians has a solid team, and they have Guerrero up-front, but I wasn't at all impressed with them against Al Ahly. They just seemed lazy, and they actually made the Egyptians look better than they actually are. With that performance they can't expect to take something from Chelsea, and since the odds are a bit better than I expected, I'm taking this bet. GL!

Chelsea (-0.5 AH) @ 1.78, 4/10
Result: 1-0, LOST

Al Ahly - Monterrey

FIFA Club World Cup 2012, Third-place play-off

Won't go on too much about this match, since I've already spoken about both these teams. Monterrey showed against Ulsan that they like to play possession football, with an emphasis on attacking moves, and they've done it with success. They also showed some glimpses of that against Chelsea, but the English-giants had by far more quality, so they didn't give the Mexicans any chances. Meanwhile, Al Ahly showed terrible defending skills against Hiroshima, and they have to thank the J-League team for squandering around 5-6 clear-cut chances. They did show some improvements against Corinthians, but the Brazilians didn't suffocate them with pressure either, as they were content with just winning by the margin and saving their energies for the final clash against Chelsea. In this match, the third place will be at stake, and I'm quite sure that both teams want it. Monterrey has the quality and skill advantage, and are rightfully favorites, even though I was expecting some lower odds for them (which means we have some value here). Won't be an easy task, but without some serious improvements for the Egyptians, I don't see them taking anything from this game. GL!

Monterrey (-0.25 AH) @ 1.94, 5/10
Result: 0-2, WON