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Feb 12, 2022 at 1pm UK at King Fahd Stadium
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Al Ahly

Al-Faraj (58')
Pereira (14'), Kanoo (28')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Ibrahim (8', 17'), Abdelkader (40'), El Solia (64')
Hany (32'), Mohamed (45+6'), Sherif (55')

Preview: Al-Hilal vs. Al Ahly - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Al-Hilal vs. Al Ahly - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Club World Cup clash between Al-Hilal and Al Ahly, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Having both fallen short in their Club World Cup semi-finals, Al-Hilal and Al Ahly will square off in a battle for third place on Saturday.

The two sides booked their places in this year's competition with triumphs in the AFC Champions League and CAF Champions League respectively, with the Saudi side falling short against European champions Chelsea.

Match preview

Al-Hilal earned their place in the Club World Cup with a record fourth AFC Champions League triumph last season, beating South Korean side Pohang Steelers 2-0 in the final thanks to goals from Nasser Al-Dawsari and Moussa Marega, just two years after they last lifted the trophy.

Following a mixed start to the Saudi top-flight season by their own standards, Al-Za'eem headed to Abu Dhabi needing to battle through the first round of the Club World Cup, and they cruised through to the semi-final with a 6-1 thrashing of UAE side Al Jazira Club.

Leonardo Jardim's side fell behind in the first 15 minutes, but they quickly drew level through Odion Ighalo and led thanks to Matheus Pereira, before Mohamed Kanno, Salem Al-Dawsari, Marega and Andre Carrillo got on the scoresheet in a rampant second-half performance.

That saw them progress to the semi-final, and they faced the unenviable task of a clash with Champions League winners Chelsea with Romelu Lukaku's first-half goal the only difference between the sides.

Following that commendable effort, the Saudi champions will look to bow out of this year's competition on a high with a third-placed finish on Saturday.

They meet an Al Ahly side in the same position, after they dropped out at the hands of Palmeiras.

Following their 10th CAF Champions League triumph, culminating in a 3-0 thrashing of Kaizer Chiefs in the final, the Nadi El Watanniyah booked their place in another Club World Cup competition, but they headed into the tournament on the back of an underwhelming run of form on the domestic front.

The Cairo outfit quickly put that behind them, as Mohamed Hany netted the only goal in a victory over Mexican giants Monterrey to advance to the semi-final, with South American champions Palmeiras awaiting.

With Raphael Veiga and Dudu netting goals quickly either side of the interval, Pitso Mosimane's side dropped out of contention after a 2-0 defeat, and they will now push for a victory before they return to action in Africa.

Al-Hilal Club World Cup form:
  • W
  • L

Al-Hilal form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Al Ahly Club World Cup form:
  • W
  • L

Al Ahly form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

After an impressive performance against Chelsea, Al-Hilal are unlikely to make many changes for Saturday, with experienced forwards Moussa Marega and Odion Ighalo continuing to play key roles.

They added another star to the front line with the capture of winger Matheus Pereira from West Bromwich Albion in the summer, and the creative attacker will again complement the strikers.

Further back, Jang Hyun-soo and Ali Al-Bulaihi will partner up at the heart of a back four with Colombia international Gustavo Cuellar anchoring at the base of midfield.

Al Ahly are without defender Ayman Ashraf, who will serve a suspension after he was shown a red card in the final 10 minutes of the semi-final defeat to Palmeiras.

However, they did recently welcome back a host of players who were called up to Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations squad, with Hamdi Fathi and star forward Mohamed Sherif notable additions to the team that defeated Monterrey.

After settling for substitute appearances last time out, the duo are both likely to start, with Sherif set to lead the line having hit 35 goals and provided 10 assists in 71 appearances for the club.

Al-Hilal possible starting lineup:
Al-Maiouf; Al-Berik, Jang, Al-Bulaihi, Al-Shahrani; Cuellar, Kanno; Pereira, Al-Dawsari; Ighalo, Marega

Al Ahly possible starting lineup:
Lofti; El Hanafi, Rabia, Fathi; Hany, Dieng, Al-Sulaya, Maaloul; Soliman, Sherif, Magdy

We say: Al-Hilal 2-1 Al Ahly

This promises to be an intriguing affair between two strong sides keen to bounce back from defeats and end on a high, and it could certainly go either way.

We just see Al-Hilal's squad as slightly stronger and more experienced at the top level than that of their opponents and fancy them to leave Abu Dhabi with a narrow victory to finish third in this year's tournament.

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