Al Ahly - Corinthians Preview: Brazilian giants enter fray aiming to book second world final

The Copa Libertadores winners face off against the African champions for a place in Sunday's final with Tite's men seeking further glory in the competition


  Al-Ahly SC
Fathi, Gomaa, Nagieb, Qinawi
Said, Aboutrika, Ashour, Soliman
Gedo, Hamdy


Alessandro, Chicao, P Andre, F Santos
Paulinho, Ralf
Danilo, Douglas
Guerrero, Emerson

Al-Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry is set to name largely the same starting XI that narrowly beat J-League champions and host side Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the quarter-final on Sunday.

The African champions, though will be without influential captain Hossam Ghaly, who limped off in that game, and will likely be replaced in the side by his substitute, Mohamed Aboutrika with Al-Sayed Hamdy continuing up front against Mohamed Nagy Gedo.

Corinthians make their bow in this year's FIFA Club World Cup a full 12 years after winning the inaugural competition in 2000. Coach Tite will stick largely to the 4-2-2-2 formation which served him well in the successful Copa Libertadores campaign.

Emerson, who scored both goals in the 2-0 second leg victory over Boca Juniors in the continental final, will lead the line, with Paulinho and Ralf sitting in front of the defence, allowing Danilo and Douglas space to roam forward.

At the back, Tite is set to keep faith in the formidable back four of Alessandro, Chicao, Paulo Andre and Fabio Santos as they aim to progress to a potential final against Champions League winners Chelsea on Sunday.

  • Al Ahly qualified for the Club World Cup semi-final with a narrow 2-1 victory over Sanfrecce Hiroshima in freezing conditions on Sunday.

  • The Egyptian side are in the tournament having won the 2012 CAF Champions League, a record seventh triumph for the Cairo-based club.
  • The side's best record in the competition was third place back in 2006, where they were beaten in the semi-final by Brazilian opposition in the form of Internacional, who later beat Barcelona in the final.
  • Al-Ahly will be hoping to become only the second African side to reach the world final, following TP Mazembe in 2010.
  • Corinthians are seeking to become the first side other than Barcelona to win the competition for a second time.
  • The Brazilian outfit beat Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores final in July, having won their national title in 2011.
  • Corinthians' Danilo and Fabio Santos already possess a Club World Cup medal, having been part of the Sao Paulo squad that won the 2005 final against Liverpool.
  • The winner of this semi-final will feature in Sunday's showpiece game against the winner of the other match between Monterrey of Mexico and Chelsea of England.