Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Prediction: Al Ain vs Real Madrid

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions 20 Dec 2018

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Verdict: Over 3.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 10/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

Undoubtedly, Al Ain have been the biggest surprise during the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in Dubai, but they will face their toughest test to date. The Arab side will aim to become the country’s first winner of this title, but need to get past Real Madrid in order to accomplish one of the biggest football upsets of the current century. Kick-off for this game is slated at 16:30 BST.

Al Ain

The host side have lived quite a roller-coaster ride during the current 2018 FIFA Club World Cup Championship. They struggled massively in their tournament opener against Wellington Team and needed a penalty-shootout to get past a semi-profesional side, but they bounced back afterwards with an impressive 3-0 win over reigning African champions, Esperance de Tunis. Their semifinal opponent was none other than River Plate, but the Arab side once again proved they were up to the challenge. They went down 1-2 early on the first half, but equalised afterwards and ended winning through another penalty shootout. The fact that they have scored at least two goals in each of their three games during this tournament should be encouraging. However, playing against Real Madrid should be an entirely different thing. The Al Ain players must deliver the performance of their lives if they want to have a slim chance to lift the trophy once it’s all said and done.

Team News

No injuries have been reported for Al Ain at the time of this writing.

Real Madrid

Unlike their opponents, Real Madrid have only played one match in the current FIFA Club World Cup. But they delivered an impressive performance since they didn’t have problems to defeat the reigning AFC Champions League title holders, Kashima Antlers, by a convincing 3-1 score. Welsh star Gareth Bale was Madrid’s best player since he scored a hat-trick, but right from the start it was clear that Los Merengues were simply too much for their Japanese counterpart. Despite the fact Real Madrid have not looked very good at the domestic level, Real Madrid won their respective UEFA Champions League group and seem to be getting back on track under the tutelage of Santiago Solari. The Argentinian has lifted Madrid’s play in recent weeks and while they enter this game as heavy favourites, they shouldn’t become complacent. After all, Al Ain have already shown they can compete against top teams. Will Madrid secure the win despite having everyone on the stands against them?

Team News

Real Madrid didn’t include any injured players on the squad for this tournament.

Gareth Bale (ankle) was doubtful for the tournament opener, but should be ready to go. For what is worth, he already started in the semifinals against Kashima Antlers.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Al Ain have scored two or more goals in nine of their last 10 matches across all competitions.
  • Meanwhile, Real Madrid have netted one or less goals in three of their past five games. But the other two where they scored more, it was always over 2.5 goals.
  • Los Merengues are playing at a very high level right now. They have won eight of their past 10 matches across all competitions (W8, L2).
  • Real Madrid have won four of their last five matches at this competition. The record over those games reads W4, D1.
  • This will be first-ever meeting between both clubs. Real Madrid will aim to win their third consecutive FIFA Club World Cup title.

Conclusion

All four games during the current tournament (involving both sides) have seen over 2.5 goals scored. And considering what’s at stake here, that shouldn’t change. We could be in line for a very open match, but I believe we will witness at least four goals, just like it happened in both semifinal matches.

Verdict: Over 3.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 10/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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