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Official: Real Madrid will face Al Ahly in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-finals



Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be facing Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup.

The 2022 edition of the tournament was postponed to this month due to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Having won the UEFA Champions League last season, Real Madrid earned a spot in the semi-finals of the competition directly, along with Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo.

Meanwhile, other competitors included Auckland City, Seattle Sounders, Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca, and Al Hilal.

As per the draw that took place last month, Al Ahly faced Auckland City in the first round and defeated them to set up a date with Seattle Sounders in the subsequent round.

And the Egyptian outfit secured a 1-0 victory over the MLS club today to set up a semi-final meeting with Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, Flamengo will be facing Al Hilal in the other semi-final after the latter won against Wydad Casablanca via a penalty shootout.

Real Madrid’s semi-final against Al Ahly will take place on February 8, a day after the encounter between Flamengo and Al Hilal.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men will fly to Morocco for the FIFA Club World Cup once they are done with the La Liga encounter against RCD Mallorca on Sunday.

Source: FIFA

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Real Madrid News

Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.

The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.

It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.

Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.

With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.

The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.

One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.

As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.

If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing. 

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