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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP FINAL

The clash of the continents is only hours away. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton complete their world view…

TACTICAL BRIEF
European champions Chelsea aim to be crowned kings of the world. We look at how they might achieve that coronation.

Key battles
Corinthians completed their 2012 Brazilian Serie A campaign earlier this month with a 1-3 defeat at the hands of fierce local rivals São Paulo, having taken an early lead through striker Paolo Guerrero. The loss meant they slipped to a final place of sixth - their worst finish in three years.

One of the Brazilians' standout players was overlapping right-back Alessandro. He may lack the dynamism of a Dani Alvés but caused the Egyptians' defence great problems on Wednesday.

On the same flank (but usually a centre-forward) Emerson Sheik may be carrying an injury. He is something of a wild character - as well as scoring twice in the Copa Libertadores final he bit a Boca Juniors defender on the hand. Ashley Cole could be in for an interesting encounter and will need plenty of support from whoever is playing in midfield on Chelsea's left. Corinthians also switch wingers during games.

At the apex in attack against Al-Ahly was Paolo Guerrero (pictured below), the man who notched the winner. He faced Chelsea twice in a spell at Bayern Munich, in April 2005. He played the whole of the quarter-final first leg at the Bridge, a 4-2 win for the Blues. During the return in Germany he came off the bench to replace first-choice forward Roy Makaay and scored in stoppage time from a Bastian Schweinsteiger pass. Bayern won 3-2 on the night.

Guerrero


Rafael Benítez handed David Luíz his first start as a deep-lying midfielder in the win over Monterrey. The Brazilian, who has made no secret of his childhood dream to win this competition, excelled, mixing up tidy defence with probing long passes and driving runs through the Mexicans' centre. Frank Lampard continued his return from injury in assured fashion and went close with a characteristic edge-of-box strike.

For Corinthians, Paulinho is a powerful midfield presence who appeared to play within himself in Wednesday's semi-final against Al-Ahly.

Under normal circumstances he can be dangerously elusive, arriving unnoticed in dangerous areas in and around the box. Chelsea's propensity to switch off, evident again in Monterrey's consolation goal on Thursday, will have encouraged the Lampard-esque no.8.

Timão won the Copa Libertadores with best defensive record ever. They are well organised defensively and know how to compress a game: the system that swiftly forms a front four can also form banks of four or a back six.

Against the Egyptians they conceded possession for periods of the second half without serious concerns. However, their back four became stretched and switched off at times, allowing Al-Ahly's ultimately wasteful forwards to be picked out in good positions with surprising ease.

Chelsea will aim to test Corinthians' vulnerability to direct forward passes and swift interplay of the sort brilliantly displayed at times by Eden Hazard, Oscar, Fernando Torres and opening goalscorer Juan Mata, who has hit the net in four successive games. Torres now has five goals in three matches.

The Al-Ahly-Corinthians match was notably slower than a typical Premier League or even Champions League match. A high tempo is surely something the Blues must impose on the game to unsettle our opponents, especially one that's just completed a 38-game league campaign.

Benitez rested Ramires and Ryan Bertrand entirely and, to lesser degrees Lampard and Victor Moses, of his recent regulars. He has already shown himself a manager prepared to tweak his team to obtain the right result in each match.

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP FINAL

CHELSEA STATS
Rafael Benitez won the FIFA Club World Cup in 2010 with Inter Milan. Carlo Ancelotti also won the trophy while at AC Milan in 2007.

The Blues qualified the FIFA Club World Cup by beating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time.

There have been 35 goals scored in our eight matches this season against foreign opposition.

2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage
Sep 13 Bayer Leverkusen (h) W 2-0
Sep 28 Valencia (a) D 1-1
Oct 19 KRC Genk (h) W 5-0
Nov 1 KRC Genk (a) D 1-1
Nov 23 Bayer Leverkusen (a) L 1-2
Dec 6 Valencia (h) W 3-0

Champions League Group E table
P W D L F A Pts
Chelsea 6 3 2 1 13 4 11
Bayer Leverkusen 6 3 1 2 8 8 10
Valencia 6 2 2 2 12 7 8
KRC Genk 6 0 3 3 2 16 3




2011/12 UEFA Champions League knockout stage
Feb 21 Napoli (Round of 16 a) L 1-3
Mar 14 Napoli (Round of 16 h) W 4-1
Mar 27 Benfica (Quarter-final a) W 1-0
Apr 4 Benfica (Quarter-final h) W 2-1
Apr 18 Barcelona (Semi-final h) W 1-0
Apr 24 Barcelona (Semi-final a) D 2-2
May 19 Bayern Munich (Final, Munich) D 1-1*
* won 4-3 on penalties after extra time


We lined up 4-2-3-1: Cech; Bosingwa, Cahill, D Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Lampard (c); Kalou (Torres 83), Mata, Bertrand (Malouda 73); Drogba.
Scorer: Drogba (88). Shoot out scorers: D Luiz, Lampard, Cole, Drogba.
Penalty save: Cech. Shoot-out saves: Cech 2


Chelsea have won three of our last five penalty shoot-outs, the last being at the Allianz Arena for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Last six results
Nov 25 Manchester City (a) D 0-0
Nov 28 Fulham (h) D 0-0
Dec 1 West Ham (a) L 1-3
Dec 5 FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League h) W 6-1
Dec 8 Sunderland (a) W 3-1
Dec 13 Monterrey (Club World Cup SF, Japan) W 3-1


2012/13 scorers
Torres 12 (1 pen), Mata 11, Cahill 6, Oscar 5, E Hazard 4 (2 pens), Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), D Luiz 3 (2 pens), Moses 3, Ramires 3, Bertrand 2, Sturridge 2, Cole 1, Romeu 1 (pen), Terry 1, own goal 1. Total 61.


Chelsea's next three games
Wed 19 Dec Leeds United (Capital One Cup quarter-final) away 7.45pm
Sun 23 Aston Villa home 4pm
Wed 26 Dec Norwich City away 3pm



CORINTHIANS STATS
Formed 1910

Major trophies
5 Brazilian League championships, last in 2011
3 Brazilian Cups, last in 2009
1 Brazilian Super Cup in 1991
1 FIFA Club World Cup in 2000
1 Copa Libertadores in 2012


Corinthians won the first FIFA Club World Cup in 2000 by defeating Vasco da Gama on penalties after a goalless draw at the Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, in front of a 73,000 crowd.

Corinthians were the Copa Libertadores' first unbeaten champions since 1978.

The Brazilian outfit only conceded four goals in 14 games on the way to winning this year's Copa Libertadores.

Their 23-man squad consists of 20 Brazilians, one Argentinean, one Peruvian and one Qatari.


2012 Copa Libertadores
Feb 16 Deportivo Táchira (a) D 1-1
Mar 8 Nacional Asunción (h) W 2-0
Mar 15 Cruz Azul (a) D 0-0
Mar 22 Cruz Azul (h) W 1-0
Apr 12 Nacional Asunción (a) W 3-1
Apr 19 Deportivo Táchira (h) W 6-0


Group 6 table
P W D L F A Pts
Corinthians (Brazil) 6 4 2 0 13 2 14
Cruz Azul (Mexico) 6 3 2 1 11 4 11
Nacional (Paraguay) 6 1 1 4 6 13 4
Táchira (Venezuela) 6 0 3 3 4 15 3

 

2012 Copa Libertadores knockout stage
May 3 Emelec (Ecuador) (Rd of 16 a) D 0-0
May 10 Emelec (Rd of 16 h) W 3-0
May 17 Vasco da Gama (Brazil) (QF a) D 0-0
May 24 Vasco da Gama (QF h) W 1-0
Jun 14 Santos (Brazil) (SF a) W 1-0
Jun 21 Santos (SF h) D 1-1
Jun 28 Boca Juniors (Argentina) (Final a) D 1-1
Jul 5 Boca Juniors (Final h) W 2-0



Copa Libertadores scorers
Emerson 5, Danilo 4, Jorge Henrique 3, Paulinho 3, Alex 1, Douglas 1 (pen), Elton 1, Fábio Santos 1, Liedson 1, Ralf 1, Romarinho 1. Total 22.


Last six results
Nov 4 Atlético GO (a) W 2-0
Nov 10 Coritiba (h) W 5-1
Nov 18 Internacional(a) W 2-0
Nov 24 Santos (h) D 1-1
Dec 2 São Paulo (a) L 1-3
Dec 12 Al-Ahly (Club World Cup SF, Japan) W 1-0



Corinthians have set a new tournament record by going five matches unbeaten in the FIFA Club World Cup - three wins and two draws.

 

PMB

 

2012 Brazil Serie A table - top 10
Pld Gd Pts
1 Fluminense 38 +28 77
2 Atlético Mineiro 38 +27 72
3 Grêmio 38 +23 71
4 São Paulo 38 +22 66
5 Vasco do Gama 38 +1 58
6 Corinthians 38 +12 57
7 Botafogo 38 +10 55
8 Santos 38 +6 53
9 Cruzeiro 38 -4 52
10 Internacional 38 +4 52

 

THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
The referee for the final is Cüneyt Çakır of Turkey. He handled our epic 2-2 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou last season, and - less pleasantly - our 0-3 defeat at Juventus a few weeks ago.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
There are no suspensions.

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