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


Kim YK
Lee Yong, Lee JS, Kwak TH, Kim YS
Estiven, Lee Ho
Rafinha, Lee KH, Kim SY
Kim SW

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."

  • 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.