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Real Madrid survived a scare to reach the final of the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup as they came back from a goal down to beat Al Jazira 2-1 on Wednesday.
Gremio also only narrowly beat Pachuca in their semi-final, with an extra-time winner from substitute forward Everton earning the Brazilian outfit a 1-0 win.
It all sets up a potentially thrilling final on Saturday at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium.
Read on for a preview of the clash along with scheduling and viewing details.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 16
Time: 5 p.m. GMT, midday ET
TV Info: FuboTV (U.S.)
Live Stream: Goal’s Facebook page (UK)
Real Madrid can draw level with Barcelona as the most prolific winners of the Club World Cup if they claim their third title on Saturday.
They can also become the first team ever to win the competition in consecutive years having overcome Japan’s Kashima Antlers in last year’s final.
However, they will likely have to be more clinical against Gremio than they were against Al Jazira if they are to claim victory.
Al Jazira goalkeeper Ali Khasif had an excellent game against Los Blancos, but Real were also guilty of being wasteful in front of goal.
They went behind after 41 minutes, but second-half strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale turned the game on its head.
B/R Football @brfootball
—Goalkeeping heroics —Ronaldo makes history —Bale’s back in style That was wild 🔥 https://t.co/qZC1ol2XkG
If Real can produce a performance like the one that saw them to a 5-0 victory over Sevilla last Saturday, there will be little chance for Gremio.
Los Blancos simply boast more quality in their squad than the 2017 Copa Libertadores champions and would get the better of most teams on the planet when playing at their best.
That is not to say, though, that Gremio do not have a chance.
Real have rarely been at their best so far this term, and should they misfire again on Saturday, Gremio have the players to take advantage.
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They are missing key midfielder Arthur through injury, but Luan should cause Real’s defence some problems, and Everton proved he is more than capable of moments of magic with his brilliant winner against Pachuca.
Real are strong favourites to win a third title, but it is likely to be a tightly fought encounter, and Gremio have quality enough in their ranks to prey on any shortcomings of the Spanish champions.