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Ulsan Hyundai - Monterrey Preview: Continental champions vie for historic showdown with Chelsea
First-time competitors Ulsan Hyundai are well-rested ahead of the Sunday-afternoon match-up, but Monterrey are looking for redemption after last year's early exit
By Dan Orlowitz
Lee Yong, Lee JS, Kwak TH, Kim YS
Estiven, Lee Ho
Rafinha, Lee KH, Kim SY
Pérez, Basanta, Mier, Chávez
Cardozo, Ayoví, Morales, Delgado
De Nigris, Suazo
Ulsan Hyundai are hoping to become the third straight AFC representative to face the European champions in Club World Cup play, while Monterrey are hoping for a better finish than last year's edition.
The two-time Concacaf champions will bring a diverse attacking style to Toyota Stadium and are prepared to push forward from the center of the pitch or spread out to the wings and set up crosses for Humberto Suazo and Aldo de Nigris.
The Mexican side are well aware of how formidable Asian clubs can be after falling to Japanese representatives Kashiwa Reysol on penalties last year, and should be more prepared this time around.
"We didn't get through and that was a failure for us," manager Victor Vucetich said in his press conference. "We could have beaten Kashiwa and we had a lot of chances to do so.
"The players are more seasoned, more experienced now. We know exactly what it means and how we have to approach games, to play them our way."
Opponents Ulsan are expected to be in good condition as manager Kim Ho-Gon has rested most of his star players since winning the Asian Champions League in early November. Yet despite playing with many second-stringers, they still managed to win their last two K-League fixtures.
"I'm impressed at how Monterrey presses when they lose the ball in the final third," Kim said in his arrival press conference. "If we can't overcome this it will be difficult for us.
"The CWC is a higher class of competition than the ACL, but the difference between club teams isn't as great as the difference between national teams.
"I told the players to be confident because we're representing Korea and Asia. I believe they can do well."
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Ulsan Hyundai became known as the Gangsters of Asia in 2006 after winning three international fixtures by an aggregate score of 16-0.
- The Horang-i ('tiger' in Korean) captured the Asian Champions League title with a 3-0 victory over Saudi Arabia's Al-Ahli.
- Both Lee Keun-Ho and Rafinha previously played for Japan's Gamba Osaka, who participated in the 2007 Club World Cup as Asian champions.
- Monterrey play at Estadio Tecnologico, the second-oldest stadium in Mexico. They are scheduled to open their new home, the Estadio de Futbol Monterrey, in 2014.
- They are the first side to win consecutive CONCACAF Champions League titles since the format was revised in 2008.
- Manager Victor Vucetich (pictured) has won 12 of 13 finals he has contested.
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Top 3 Predictions
Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 1-2 Monterrey
- 19.39 %
Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 2-1 Monterrey
- 15.31 %
Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 0-2 Monterrey
- 12.25 %
|Club World Cup (CWC)||Dec 9, 2012||Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 1 - Monterrey 3|
|Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i|
|Dec 12, 2012||Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 2 - Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3||CWC|
|Dec 9, 2012||Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 1 - Monterrey 3||CWC|
|Nov 10, 2012||Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 3 - Ahli Geddh 0||ACL|
|Oct 31, 2012||Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 2 - Bunyodkor 0||ACL|
|Oct 24, 2012||Bunyodkor 1 - Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 3||ACL|
|Returns:||Horangi £4010.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £510.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Monterrey £22.00||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|1||Jonathan Emmanuel Orozco||Goalkeeper|
|15||José María Basanta||Defender|
|18||Neri Raúl Cardozo||Midfielder|
|9||A. De Nigris||Striker|
|19||César Fabián Delgado||Midfielder|
|-||Jesús Alejandro Dautt Ramírez||Goalkeeper|
|23||Juan de Dios Ibarra||Goalkeeper|
|6||Héctor Miguel Morales||Midfielder|
|-||Oscar Sebastián Garcia Carmona||Defender|
The 27-year-old was named the MVP of the K-League, Asian Champions League, and Asia; this tournament will be his last hurrah before entering military service and the energetic attacker will often be the point of the Ulsan spear.
He's the club's top scorer with 100 goals in all competitions, but this time the 31-year-old Chilean national team member has plenty to prove after last year's disappointing result. Dangerous from any distance, Suazo is a force to be reckoned with.
With the afternoon sun still shining on Toyota Stadium, this match should offer more goals than Thursday night's play-off. Ulsan are in better form and capable of outlasting Monterrey in a shoot-out, and the recent dismissal of problematic midfielder Angel Reyna won't do the American representatives any favours.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed