Real Madrid find themselves facing unexpected opponents in the final of the Club World Cup, with Kashima Antlers becoming the first Asian side to make it through to this stage of the competition.
Their 3-0 victory over South American champions Atletico Nacional in the previous round was an extremely unlikely result, with the Colombian side utterly dominating without being able to find the back of the net. Kashima rode their luck, with a combination of the woodwork and some smart goalkeeping from Hitoshi Sogahata keeping Nacional at bay, and two late goals put the gloss on what was a massive upset.
The Japanese side now face an even bigger test in the form of the most successful side in European football, with Real Madrid looking to extend their club record run of 36 matches without defeat.
Certainly it is hard to envisage another upset as big as the one which the Antlers pulled off in the last four and the bookmakers give the little hope with bet365 offering them at 14/1 (15.00). The draw, meanwhile, is offered at 6/1 (7.00) and a win in 90 minutes for Zinedine Zidane's men can be backed at 1/6 (1.16).
Madrid, for their part, were comfortably superior to Club America in their semi-final, although they only managed to kill the game off in injury time when Cristiano Ronaldo scored to secure a 2-0 win. Madrid's players admitted afterwards that it had taken them a while to get going in the game, but once they found their rhythm they were clearly the better side.
Perhaps we can expect something similar in Sunday's final and those looking for a value bet might be interested in the price of 11/4 (3.75) for a draw at half-time and a Real Madrid win at full-time. Instead we will take the price of evens (2.00) for the second half to be Real Madrid's highest scoring half, a selection which seems logical.
Madrid tend to grow into games and often come up with late goals if and when needed, plus their superior fitness could be a telling factor as the game wears on, so backing Los Blancos to score more goals in the second 45 minutes than in the first, should appeal.