Skip to content
The Club World Cup will take place for the 19th time in February
  1. Football
  2. Other Competitions

Club World Cup semi-finals: Flamengo v Al Hilal preview

Al Hilal will be out for Club World Cup semi-final revenge after breaking Moroccan hearts to set up a showdown with mighty Flamengo in Tangier.

The Saudi side left it late to draw 1-1 with Wydad Casablanca on Saturday before coming through a penalty shoot-out, setting up a rematch with Brazilian giants Flamengo.

They met at the same stage of the 2019 tournament when Flamengo ran out 3-1 winners. Will history repeat itself or can Al Hilal defy the odds?

Copa kings carrying sky-high national expectations

WhatFlamengo v Al Hilal Riyadh, Club World Cup
WhereIbn Batouta Stadium, Tangier, Morocco
When19:00, Tuesday 7th February, 2023
How to watchN/A
OddsFlamengo 4/9, Draw 7/2, Al Hilal Riyadh 6/1

Thousands of Flamengo fans lined the runway in Rio when their beloved team jetted off to Morocco for the Club World Cup, a competition they have never won and which a Brazilian side hasn't triumphed in since 2012.

Each of the last nine runnings of this FIFA-backed gala of global champs has been won by a European side - and that irks the South Americans.

So Flamengo, last year's Copa Libertadores winners, are under pressure to change the record and are super determined to do so. They fully expect that it will be them and Real Madrid - who take on Al Ahly in the second semi - who will be lining up in the final in Rabat on Saturday.

At odds of 4/9 to beat Al Hilal Riyadh, layers and punters also fully expect no slip-ups from Vitor Pereira's side.

Can Al Hilal defy the odds after conquer of Casablanca?

Al Hilal, the 6/1 outsiders at the Ibn Batouta Stadium, might lack the pedigree, the history and the reputation of their Brazilian opponents, but there's no questioning their bottle after seeing off home hopes Wydad Casablanca in their opener.

They were trailing the Moroccans until the fourth minute of added time when Mohammed Kanno equalised and it was the Saudis who went on to hold their nerve in the shoot-out, where they converted all five of their penalties.

Ramon Diaz's side, in the tournament as winners of the 2021 AFC Champions League, are naturally jam-packed with players who wore the national shirt with real pride at the World Cup.

But there is added foreign quality, too, with Flamengo old boys Gustavo Cuellar and Michael sure to be involved while ex-Porto frontman Moussa Marega and one-time Manchester United fill-in Odion Ighalo are proven scorers at the highest level.

Front-footers Flamengo will go for broke

What we know about Flamengo is that even though head coach Vitor Pereira has only been at the club a month, there's a familiar look to them in turns of style and approach.

The side that won the Copa in October - incredibly going through the tournament unbeaten with 12 wins and a solitary draw - is pretty much intact and so is the identity. They scored 17 goals during the Copa knockout stages because they like to attack.

Pereira, like Dorival before him, likes an attacking trident but it means they can be exposed.

Related Football News

Football: Club World Cup preview

Football: All you need to know about the Club World Cup

Last week's Super Copa do Brasil was Flamengo in all their exciting, frustrating glory as they lost 4-3 to Palmeiras in a game that was wide open from start to finish.

Good teams will exploit Flamengo defensively - punters therefore have to ask whether Al Hilal qualify as a good team or not. If they are, then David Luiz and Co can expect a busy 90 minutes.

Flamengo's goal threat should be decisive

Pereira has options in attack where Pedro, with five goals in his last five games, and Copa Libertadores top scorer with 12 goals, is going to be a hard man to budge.

The Brazilian is 4/1 to open the scoring behind Gabriel Barbosa at 13/5. 'Gabigol', as he is known, has also clocked up five in his last five.

Ighalo, who had scored in six successive matches before missing out against Wydad Casablanca, is 17/2 to open the scoring.

Al Hilal are nowhere near as expansive as Flamengo and boss Diaz also has a change to make with the goalscoring hero from Saturday, Kanno, suspended after a late red card.

But the 4/5 odds for both teams to score emphasises the sense that Flamengo aren't the most secure of units and that Al Hilal's international front three is a threat.

It was 3-1 to Flamengo when they met at the Club World Cup four years ago and this rematch promises to be just as entertaining with Flamengo & both teams to score a potentially lucrative way in at 21/10.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy