UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich will start as the overwhelming favourites when the latest edition of the FIFA Club World Cup gets underway in Doha, Qatar on Friday.
The Bavarians, however, won’t be in action until the semi-final stage given their superior seeding in the six-team competition.
The FIFA Club World Cup begins with Asian champions Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea facing the CONCACAF Champions League title holders Tigres UANL of Mexico at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, one of the 2022 FIFA World Cup venues.
Ulsan have some happy memories in Doha to fall back upon from the recent past with their UEFA Champions League triumph over Iranian powerhouse Persepolis coming just over a month ago.
Tigres UANL, meanwhile, can be a tricky opponent given their never-say-die attitude that saw them lift their continental title after failing to do so in three finals appearances. Coached by Ricardo Ferretti, the Mexcian side has turned into a dangerous unit in the domestic league and will be hoping to replicate a similar form in Doha.
The second match of the day will see hosts and the reigning Qatar Stars League champions Al Duhail take on the African champions Al Ahly of Egypt at the Education City Stadium.
The Qataris come into the competition on the back of a 6-1 win over Al Ahli in the Emir Cup and will be hoping to go deep in the competition.
The Copa Libertadores champions SE Palmeiras of Brazil is the other team in the competition and will feature in the semi-final while New Zealand’s Auckland City FC, the OFC Champions League winners have pulled out due to heightened COVID-19 restrictions in the country.
FIFA Club World Cup schedule, fixtures and India match times
All times are in Indian Standard Times (IST)
Thursday, February 4
Second round: Tigres UANL vs Ulsan Hyundai - 7:30 PM IST
Second round: Al-Dunhail vs Al Ahly - 11:00 PM IST
Sunday, February 7
Match for 5th place: Ulsan vs Al-Duhail - 8:30 PM IST
Semi-final: Palmeiras vs Tigres UANL - 11:30 PM IST
Monday, February 8
Semi-final: Al Ahly vs Bayern Munich - 11:30 PM IST
Thursday, February 11
Match for 3rd place - 8:30 PM IST
Final: TBD - 11:30 PM IST
The FIFA Club World Cup will not be broadcast in India. However, match highlights will be available on the Olympic Channel.