FIFA Club World Cup: Schedule, Outright Odds, Predictions
FIFA Club World Cup 2017
The fourteenth edition of the FIFA Club World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates, beginning on December 6th. 2016-17 UAE Pro League winners Al-Jazira will appear alongside club champions from all six FIFA confederations, with UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid looking to be come the first team to win back to back competitions.
They are certainly the favourites to do so, considering nine out of the thirteen champions have been European teams, and they will equal Barcelona’s record of three titles if successful. Below are the odds for the tournament at time of publishing, followed by our tournament guide, a preview of the teams involved and our predictions for the outcome.
Tournament Structure And Participating Teams
Real Madrid are the obvious favourites here at -600, and although they don’t offer too much in the way of value, are pretty much assured of winning this tournament. You can certainly place this in a parlay bet to improve the odds, although act quickly as the odds will only get worse from here.
The FIFA Club World Cup runs for elven days and consists of seven teams that enter at various stages, culminating in a winner-takes-all final. The teams involved in this year’s tournament are as follows.Al-Jazira (United Arab Emirates, AFC) +25000
Winners of the 2016-17 UAE Pro League
As hosts of the tournament, the United Arab Emirates has the privilege of entering their top domestic team into the tournament. Al-Jazira were established in 1974 and have won the league on two occasions. They will play in the first match, known as the play-off round, against the champions from Oceania.Auckland City (New Zealand, OFC) +50000
Winners of the 2017 OFC Champions League
As the lowest-ranked confederation in the FIFA setup, Auckland City will face Al-Jazira in the opening match of the tournament, with the winner progressing to the Quarter-finals where they will take on the AFC Champions.
Auckland City have a rich history of both domestic and international success. They have managed eight domestic titles and nine OFC Champions League victories, making them Oceania’s most successful club. They have made nine appearances at the FIFA Club World Cup, winning a bronze medal in 2014.Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan, AFC) +6600
Winners of the 2017 AFC Champions League
The AFC Champions League winners enter the tournament at the quarter-final stage and will play against the winner of the play-off match between Auckland City and Al-Jazira. The victor will progress to take on the UEFA Champions League winners.
Urawa are two time winners of the AFC Champions League, with victories in the 2007 and 2017 tournaments. They managed a third-place finish in the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup.Wydad Casablanca (Morocco, CAF) +15000
Winners of the 2017 CAF Champions League
The holders of the CAF Champions League trophy come up against the CONCACAF champions in the quarter-final stage, with the winners moving forward to a semi-final match against the holders of the Copa Libertadores.
Casablanca are five-time winners of the Moroccan League, two time CAF Champions League victors, and will be making their first appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup.Pachuca (Mexico, CONCACAF) +3300
Winners of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League
The best team from North and Central America and the Caribbean will also enter the tournament in the quarter-finals, facing the African champions.
Pachuca are five-time winners of the CONCACAF Champions Cup/Champions League and will be making their fourth appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup. Their best finish is fourth-place.Gremio (Brazil, CONMEBOL) +500
Winners of the 2017 Copa Libertadores
South America’s champions enter the FIFA Club World Cup at the semi-final stage and will come up against the winner of the quarter-final between the CONCACAF and CAF champions.
Gremio are making their first appearance in the tournament, after winning their third Libertadores Cup. They will be the seventh team from Brazil to enter the FIFA Club World Cup.Real Madrid (Spain, UEFA) -600
Winners of the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid are the defending champions of the FIFA Club World Cup and enter this year’s tournament in the semi-final stage, where they will come up against either Al-Jazira, Auckland City or Urawa Red Diamonds.
The European giants are one of the most successful teams in world soccer, with 33 domestic titles, 12 European Cup/UEFA Champions League trophies and two FIFA Club World Cup Championships.
The winner of each semi-final will contest in the final in Abu Dhabi on December 16th, while there are also fixtures to determine fifth-place and third-place.
FIFA Club World Cup Betting Tips
As with all international club competitions, there are a number of betting lines available. Individual match odds are available for every single match, and will become available as the tournament rolls on. Let’s take a look at the matches that are currently available to place a wager on.
Play-off Round – Al Jazira vs Auckland City – Wednesday December 6th @ 12:00pm ET
Auckland City will go into this match as the underdog despite their excellent record in the FIFA Club World Cup. While they will face the UAE champions on their own soil, there is a massive chance that the New Zealanders will get the win here – you simply can’t put a price on experience.
The AFC may be a stronger confederation overall, however the UAE domestic league isn’t of too high a standard, at least not for Auckland City to overcome. They are our pick to make it into the quarter-finals and great value at +350.
Pachuca vs Wydad Casablanca – Saturday December 9th @ 7:50am ET
CONCACAF Champions League winners Pachuca defeated 2016 MLS Supporter’s Shield winners FC Dallas on their way to the title, so you know they have a decent amount of quality in their ranks. They will come up against an opponent with a very different style in Casablanca, and again we are going with experience here.
The Mexican side has made the semi-finals in two out of three of their FIFA Club World Cup Campaigns, and we are going to back them to do so again against the Moroccan first-timers. Go for Pachuca @ -106.
If our picks above prove to be accurate, the next matches will be as follows.
Urawa Red Diamonds vs Auckland City – Saturday December 9th @ 11:30am ET
The AFC Champions will be too good regardless of their opponent in this match. Expect Urawa to be playing Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
Gremio vs Pachuca – Tuesday December 12th @ 12:00pm ET
This is the match that will be the toughest to predict in the tournament, which on the whole is fairly straight-forward. Gremio is marginally the better side here and should progress, but as this will be their first match of the campaign they will not come into the game with momentum unlike their opponents. We could see Pachuca better their best ever performance here and make the final.
Real Madrid vs Urawa Red Diamonds – Tuesday December 12th @ 12:00pm ET
Both semi-finals kick off at the same time, and this one is almost certain to be Real vs Urawa. The tournament format is such that surprises only really occur on the other side of the draw, and this match will also go according to plan. Real Madrid will win here and progress to the final.
Real Madrid vs Pachuca – Saturday December 16th @ 12:00pm ET
Ok, so it could be Real Madrid vs Gremio, but we’re going to stick with our CONCACAF neighbours to make it to the final. Real Madrid will win comfortably, however it should be a game full of exciting and attractive football. We will keep you up to date as the tournament progresses, stay tuned for all the odds and news from the FIFA Club World Cup.
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