HomeFootball NewsManchester City Learn Their FIFA Club World Cup Opponents

Manchester City Learn Their FIFA Club World Cup Opponents

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Last season’s treble winners Manchester City will take on the Urawa Red Diamonds in the semi-finals of this year’s FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia next week.

The Japanese J1 League side defeated Liga MX’s Club Leon by one goal to nil on Friday afternoon to book their spot in the final four with former Ross County forward Alex Schalk scoring their late winner after Leon captain William Tesillo had been sent off in the second-half.

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The Urawa Reds, under the management of Maciej Skorza, finished fourth in the 2023 J1 League season and went into that second round match as slight underdogs.

In their previous appearances in the competition, the ‘Red Devils’, as they are nicknamed, finished third in the 2007 edition of the tournament and then fifth in 2017.

They will now take on the heavy pre-tournament favourites, Manchester City, who are looking to secure their first ever FIFA Club World Cup triumph after winning the UEFA Champions League, defeating Internazionale in the final in Istanbul, for the first time ever last season.

Pep Guardiola has already won the tournament on three occasions; twice with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 and then once with Bayern Munich in 2013. It is, though, the first time that Guardiola and Manchester City have ever faced Japanese opposition in a competitive fixture.

Manchester City jet off to Saudi Arabia for their two matches after they play Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon, still sweating on the availability and fitness of striker Erling Haaland.

City have won 21 trophies since 2011 when they won the 2010/11 FA Cup, defeating Stoke City by a goal to nil in the final. If they do lift the trophy next weekend, it would be the seventh different competition won by the club in that 12-and-a-half-year spell.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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