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FIFA Club World Cup 2013: Updated Fixture Schedule and Prediction Ahead of Final

AGADIR, MOROCCO - DECEMBER 15:  Head coach Josep Guardiola speaks to Dante during a Bayern Muenchen training session for the FIFA Club World Cup outside at Agadir Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Agadir, Morocco.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2013

This year's FIFA Club World Cup brought together some of the globe's current footballing success stories, with clubs from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and America all competing for worldwide recognition.

However, only Bayern Munich and minnows Raja Casablanca are left in the running for the tournament's top prize, while Atletico Mineiro and Guangzhou Evergrande will go head-to-head for third spot.

Ahead of this weekend's curtain call, we look forward to the closing encounters, predicting just where the remaining representatives will finish in the Club World Cup order.

2013 FIFA Club World Cup Predictions
FixtureDateTimePrediction
Bayern Munich vs. Raja CasablancaDec. 217:30 p.m. GMT/3:30 p.m. ET3-0
Atletico Mineiro vs. Guangzhou EvergrandeDec. 214:30 p.m. GMT/11:30 a.m. ET 2-1
FIFA.com

 

Final: Bayern Munich vs. Raja Casablanca

Despite being one of Europe's biggest sides since the tournament's inception in 2000, this year has been Bayern Munich's first participation in the FIFA Club World Cup, and their campaign got off to the perfect start with their 3-0 semi-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande.

Despite being in the job for barely six months, Pep Guardiola is already looking to add his second major title to his cabinet as Bayern manager, having won the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea earlier in the summer.

The Spaniard hasn't held back with squad selection in this tournament and will have been pleased to see three different scorers get off the mark in their last outing, Mario Goetze, Mario Mandzukic and Franck Ribery adding the touches on that occasion.

AGADIR, MOROCCO - DECEMBER 15:  Franck Ribery looks on during a Bayern Muenchen press conference for the FIFA Club World Cup at Agadir Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Agadir, Morocco.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Raja Casablanca will be relying on a rousing reception from the home Marrakesh crowd on Saturday. The Moroccan hosts are yet to keep a clean sheet in the competition and have played three games in the last 10 days compared to Der FCB's one.

As BBC Sport shows, the African side's players clambered for Ronaldinho's boots after their semi-final triumph, seemingly in as much surprise as other spectators following their win:

All fingers point to a triumph for the visitors.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-0 Raja Casablanca

 

Third-Place Playoff: Atletico Mineiro vs. Guangzhou Evergrande

Ronaldinho's Atletico Mineiro side will be disappointed by the fact they're not competing for the FIFA Club World Cup's highest honour, having been ousted by underdogs Raja Casablanca on Wednesday evening.

The Galo came into the competition as one of its automatic semi-finalists after winning the 2013 Copa Libertadores, but looked cold in places, whereas Raja were fully at ease with the tempo having featured in the earlier stages.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 22: Ronaldinho Gaucho of Atletico MG during a match between Botafogo and Atletico MG as part of Brazilian Cup 2013 at Maracana Stadium on August 22, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Cuca would be wise to ensure his squad is better prepared for the threat of Guangzhou Evergrande, who showed some promise against Al-Ahly but were predictably bested by Bayern.

Europe and Brazil have accounted for all nine FIFA Club World Cup winners thus far in the tournament's existence, with Marcelo Lippi's side still trailing by those standards.

With little consolation left to play for, it's likely that Atletico Mineiro's quality simply proves too much for the AFC Champions League winners, regardless of how respected they might be on their own continent.

Prediction: Atletico Mineiro 2-1 Guangzhou Evergrande

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