FIFA Club World Cup preview: Bayern Munich vs. Tigres (Thu - 21:00h. GMT+3; 19:00h. CET; 12:00h. GMT-6) - Team news, possible lineups

Bayern Munich take on Tigres in the Club World Cup final on Thursday evening, with the German outfit looking to lift the trophy for the second time in their history.

In their way stand a side who have already won two games in the competition this season, beating Ulsan Hyundai and Palmeiras to reach their first ever Club World Cup final.

Match preview

The Bavarian side face a quick turnaround in Qatar, having beaten Al Ahly in the semi-final on Monday evening.

Robert Lewandowski netted a brace to see Hansi Flick's side beat the CAF Champions League winners 2-0, giving them an early lead with a close-range finish, before he headed in a second goal from a Leroy Sane cross late on in the match.

They qualified for this year's Club World Cup thanks to their first Champions League win since 2013, with a 1-0 triumph over Paris Saint-Germain in the final in August.

The game in Lisbon remained goalless for 60 minutes, until Kingsley Coman headed past Keylor Navas to seal the game for the German giants, and secure their sixth Champions League trophy.

That result followed a dominant run in the tournament, having comfortably beaten all the sides who stood in their way on their path to the final.

The Bavarians eased through the group stage, winning all six games, including a 7-2 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur away from home.

Flick's side then started the knockout stages by beating Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate over two legs, with Serge Gnabry netting a brace at Stamford Bridge, followed by a Lewandowski double in the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

They then followed that up with an 8-2 thrashing of Barcelona, with Thomas Muller and Philippe Coutinho netting braces for Bayern, along with goals from Ivan Perisic, Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich and Lewandowski, sealing an eye-catching result for Die Roten.

In the semi-final, the German champions put up another dominant display, beating Lyon 3-0, thanks to another Gnabry brace, sending Der FCB through to the final when they beat PSG.

Their start to this season has been just as strong as ever too, currently sitting at the top of the Bundesliga, seven points clear of second-placed RB Leipzig, while they also cruised through the Champions League group stage, topping their group with 16 points.

Bayern come into this match on a run of six successive wins across all competitions, including four clean sheets in their last five.

The side from Mexico come into this game having won two matches to get to the final.

Firstly, Ricardo Ferretti's men came from behind to beat South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai 2-1, when an Andre-Pierre Gignac brace overturned an early Ulsan goal through Kim Kee-Hee.

Gignac then got his third goal of the tournament when he netted the only goal of the game as Tigres beat Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras 1-0, securing their place in the final.

That made Los Auriazules the first side from North America to reach the Club World Cup final, and they face a very tough challenge in their bid to become the first team from their continent to win the tournament.

They qualified with a 2-1 win over Los Angeles FC in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League, lifting that trophy for the first time in the club's history.

Los Angeles took the lead in the second half through Diego Rossi, but goals from Hugo Ayala and Gignac swung the tie in the favour of the side from Mexico late on in the game.

That result followed a narrow loss in the previous year's final, when Tigres lost 2-1 to Mexican rivals Monterrey over two legs, with the 2020 win completing their redemption, and cementing their position as one of North America's best sides.

Bayern Munich Club World Cup form: W
Bayern Munich form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Tigres Club World Cup form: WW
Tigres form (all competitions): WLWDWW

Team News

The German outfit should have a full squad to pick from in this game, with Flick expected to field a very strong side in the hope of securing another piece of silverware for Bayern.

Spanish midfielder Marc Roca has started two of Die Roten's last three matches, including the win over Al Ahly, after struggling to make an impact in the side so far this campaign, and he will be hoping to feature from the beginning again here.

He will be challenged by Leon Goretzka, who has made himself a pivotal member of Flick's system in the last two seasons, forming a strong midfield partnership with Kimmich.

Lewandowski will lead Bayern's line once again here, with the Polish forward already on 29 goals this season from 27 matches in all competitions.

He will likely be supported by a combination of Gnabry, Muller, Sane and Coman, who have formed one of the world's strongest attacks in the last couple of seasons.

Meanwhile, Tigres will again be relying on Gignac as they look to cause an upset in Qatar, with the Frenchman having 17 goals from 23 games in all competitions this campaign.

Winger Nicolas Lopez could return to availability for this game, after a spell out with COVID-19, but we expect Ferretti to stick with the players that have got Tigres through to the final, with Gignac supported by the wide threat of Javier Aquino and Luis Quinones.

Versatile midfielder Jesus Duenas dropped into left-back for the game against Palmeiras, with Guido Pizarro and Rafael Carioca operating in the middle of the park.

However, a game against tougher opposition could see Duenas move back into the middle to add another body into the midfield battle, as we expect them to move to a more conservative system of three in the middle and Gignac as a lone striker.

That could see experienced defender Francisco Meza return to the side at centre-back, pushing Carlos Salcedo across to the left-back slot, allowing Duenas to move into the midfield to shield the back four from the attacking threat posed by Flick's men.

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Tolisso; Coman, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski.

Tigres possible starting lineup:
Guzman; Rodriguez, Reyes, Meza, Salcedo; Duenas; Aquino, Carioca, Pizarro, Quinones; Gignac.

Source: Sports Mole / Sam Varley




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