Stade de Marrakech, Marrakech
Saturday 20th Dec, 2014, 20:30 CET
Real Madrid meets San Lorenzo today in the final of the Club World Cup in Marrakech, Morocco to determine who the best team in the world is.
Real Madrid are in a lethal form at the moment as they are beating their opponents with ease and coach Carlo Ancelotti will be expecting another stellar performance from his players to finish the year on top of the world with Club World Cup and a new Spanish record of 22 consecutive wins.
San Lorenzo, on the other hand, would be hoping to become the first Argentinean team to win Club World Cup after the change of the format in 2005. And coach Edgardo Bauza would be hoping for a spirited display from his players against bookies’ favorites Real Madrid.
Team News and Tactical Brief
San Lorenzo, who are representing South America in the Club World Cup, are the winners of the Copa Libertadores. They qualified for the final by beating Auckland City in extra time.
San Lorenzo enjoyed a stellar campaign last year as they became the champions of Latin America under inspiring coach Pizzi. Pizzi has now left San Lorenzo for La Liga side Valencia and Edgardo Bauza is the new boss of the Latin American champions.
San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza will be aware that his team will have to win the midfield battle if they want to have any chance of beating Real Madrid. Their midfield, led by Mercier and Ortigoza, is considered as the biggest strength of this San Lorenzo team.
Speaking in a press conference on the eve of the match, San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza accepted that his team did not perform well in the semi-final against Auckland City. But he said that San Lorenzo are now ready to face Real Madrid.
“The game didn’t pan out as planned for us, which is why I made some changes,” he said. “After that we were able to get into it better. Now we’ll start preparing for the final and will do everything we can to win. We’ll try to play to the best of our ability and to meet expectations, even if we are going up against one of the best teams in the world with a lot of quality individuals.”
Predicted Starting Lineup (4:3:3): Torrico; Buffarini, Kannemann, Yepes, Más; Mercier, Ortigoza, Kalinski; Barrientos, Verón, Cauteruccio.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid are at the Club World Cup after winning the UEFA Champions League and beating Mexican side Cruz Azul 4-0 in their semifinal on Tuesday evening.
Real Madrid are in fine form at the moment as they are looking to win their fourth trophy of this year, they are also attempting to win their 22nd consecutive game in all competitions and President Florentino Perez was also very optimistic about the chances of his side winning the Club World Cup in his press conference.
Perez said: “Rounding off this year, which has been a good one, with a trophy like the Club World Cup is important for us and for what we want to send out.”
“The fans are delighted. We have a good team, a good atmosphere, a coach who treats the players as if they were a family. All of that leaves its mark, and we’re experiencing a special, good period and all I ask is that it lasts for a long time.”
Florentino Perez also had a special words reserved for coach carlo Ancelotti. He said: “I’ve always wanted to hire Ancelotti. He has a wealth of experience, first as a player and then as a coach. He has coached teams as important as Milan, Juventus, Chelsea and PSG.”
Real Madrid made some intelligent signings in the summer transfer market and they are now ripping the rewards of their investment as they are looking equally strong in every department of the game.
Dani Carvajal has built on from his last season’s fine displays for Real Madrid as he has become a consistent performer for Carlo Ancelotti while the duo of Pepe and Sergio Ramos continues to marshal the central area of defence. Marcelo has made a position of left-back his own now and he will start the game tomorrow.
The only area of concern for Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti at the moment is his midfield. Luka Modric is out with injury while James Rodriguez is not fully recovered yet but could also feature at some point today. And in absence of Modric, Illaramendi will start the game; he will form a three man midfield along with Isco and Toni Kroos.
Real Madrid will play with all their big name strikers, namely, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Crstiano Ronaldo. And Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t impress in the semifinal, will be desperate to make his mark in the game, which is bad news for San Lorenzo.
Real Madrid skipper Iker Casillas has performed extremely well in past one month. He saved a fine penalty against Almeria last week and he again stopped a penalty against Cruz Azul on Tuesday. He is certain to get the nod ahead of Kaylor Navas for this crucial game. This game is going to be the historic occasion for Casillas as it will be his 700th start for Real Madrid.
Predicted Starting Lineup (4:3:3): Casillas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Isco, Illara, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Player To Watch Out For
This is an ideal opportunity for Ronaldo to score and help Real Madrid win trophy no. 4 in 2014. This will also be a golden chance for Ronaldo to make strong case for FIFA Ballon d’Or.
San Lorenzo 0-2 Real Madrid
It has become almost impossible to beat Real Madrid nowadays and it would be a miracle if Latin American champions San Lorenzo avoids defeat against the Los Blancos tonight.