FIFA Club World Cup Preview & Winner Odds 2019

Can Liverpool win the FIFA Club World Cup?

Roberto Firmino / Liverpool ©imago images / Sportimage 16.12.2019

The big guns will be entering the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar in midweek. This strange tournament brings together the Champions from six continents (along with the champions of the host country) to play for the prize of being named the Best Club in the World. This year it is the 16th edition of the tournament.

Coming in at what is the semi-final stage, are Copa Libertadores champions Flamingo and reigning European Champions Liverpool.

2019 FIFA Club World Cup Outright Winner Odds

Liverpool 4/11
Flamengo 5/2
Al-Hilal 18/1
Monterrey 20/1
*(betting odds taken from December 14th, 2019 at 7:03 pm)

The Participating Teams

Teams Entering the First Round
AFC Hosts: Al-Sadd (Qatar)
AFC Champions League Winners: Hienghene Sport (New Caledonian)

Teams Entering the Second Round
CONCACAF Champions League Winners: Monterrey (Mexico)
CAF Champions League Winners: Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia)
AFC Champions League winners; Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia)

Teams Entering in the Semi-Finals
UEFA Champions League Winners: Liverpool (England)
Copa Libertadores Winners: Flamengo (Brazil)

Tournament Format

It’s a slightly confusing tournament. The two teams who come in at the first round of action square off in the first match of the competition. The winner of that match moves through to meet one of the three teams who enter at the second round.

The two winners from that stage go through to the semi-finals, which is the point where the big guns from CONCACAF and UEFA come into the picture.

Previous Winners

All fifteen of the previous editions of the FIFA Club World Cup have been from either UEFA or CONMEBOL. The usual set up is those clearly stronger teams from those confederations come in, win their semi-finals and square up in the Final.

If gives the feeling that the rest of the competition is just going through the motions. Each of the last six editions of the tournament have been won by the UEFA representative. Each of the last five winners have been from Spain. Real Madrid have won each of the last three editions.

From the previous 15 editions of the tournament, it has been a UEFA v CONMEBOL Final on 12 occasions. There has been a shift recently though, as it has only happened in two of the last three editions. All three non-UEFA v CONMBEOL Finals have been inside the last six editions.

What’s happened at the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup?

The first-round match was between hosts Al-Sadd and Oceania Champions Hienghene Sport. It was Al-Sadd who battled their way through 3-1 after extra time. That put them through to meet Mexican side Monterrey in the second round.

Monterrey won an exciting match against the hosts Al-Sadd 3-2. The other match in the second round was between Al-Hilal and Esperance de Tunis. In the second semi-final, it was Al-Hilal who edged African champions Esperance de Tunis 1-0.

Semi-Final Fixtures & Dates

18th December: Monterrey v Liverpool
19th December: Flamengo v Al-Hilal

21st December: Final and Third Place Play-Off

Monterrey v Liverpool

Premier League leaders Liverpool played in the Premier League on Saturday. They face this long trip to Qatar to play the FIFA Club World Cup on Wednesday, which is the day after they face Aston Villa in the EFL Cup quarter-finals. That was a schedule that was too much for Liverpool to handle.

So they have decided to keep a youth team to contest their trip to Villa Park in the EFL Cup, while they are taking a senior squad to compete in this tournament. Given the remarkable form that the Reds have produced this season and considering they have a strong squad, this game should be comfortable for them. The Reds are 4/11 outright favourites for the tournament*(betting odds taken from December 14th, 2019 at 7:03 pm).

This will be Liverpool’s second appearance in the tournament, their previous one coming in 2005 and they lost the final to Brazil’s Sao Paulo. The didn’t win it on that occasion. As for Monterrey, this is their fourth appearance in the tournament and have never been to the Final.

Flamengo v Al-Hilal

Brazilian side Flamengo are making their debut in the FIFA Club World Cup. That’s because they pulled off a shock win over reigning champions River Plate in the final of the Copa Libertadores. That was from a position of only beating seeded 7th for the competition, beating 2017 FIFA Club World Cup Runners up Gremio in the semi-finals.

The only nation to have produced a winner not from Europe in the FIFA Club World Cup, is Brazil. The Brazilians will be favourites for their semi-final against Al-Hilal. Flamingo are the 5/2 second-favourite to win the tournament outright behind Liverpool*(betting odds taken from December 14th, 2019 at 7:03 pm). They too are making their debut in this tournament after their AFC Champions League win. They edged past Esperance de Tunis in their second match on Saturday.