FC Bayern Munich contest the semi-final of the FIFA Club World Cup against Al Ahly on Monday. “They’re the FC Bayern of Egypt”, said Joshua Kimmich of the African Champions League winners. We’ll show you why that is an apt comparison and a number of other facts ahead of our first game at this year’s Club World Cup.
Clash of giants
Bayern are the most successful club in German league and cup history with 30 and 20 titles respectively. The same can also be said for Al Ahly in Egypt, with a record 42 league and 37 cup honours. Another fact in common is that this is the first time both teams have won their respective Champions Leagues since 2013. It was Bayern’s sixth European crown, while the club from Cairo earned their ninth African title – a record in the competition.
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First competitive meeting
These two giants of European and African football have never met before in a competitive match. There has, though, been one friendly, with Ivica Olic scoring a brace in a 2-1 win in 2012.
Al Ahly with Club World Cup experience – FCB with title experience
This is Al Ahly’s sixth participation in the FIFA Club World Cup, featuring in the semi-finals for the third time. However, they are yet to get beyond that stage. Their best finish was third place in 2006. Including last Thursday’s 1-0 win against Al-Duhail, the Egyptians have now played 13 matches at the Club World Cup, which is second only to Auckland City (15).
As for Bayern, this is only their second time at the tournament (2 games), with the first ending in Philipp Lahm lifting the trophy. When taking Bayern’s lack of preparation into account, Al Ahly will feel that they have the tools to trouble the German giants. Nevertheless, Flick’s side should have far too much quality in the final third, giving them every chance of recording a routine win.
No goals conceded in 2013 win
Bayern won the 2013 edition without conceding a single goal. They beat Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 in the semi-final before a 2-0 victory over Moroccan champions Raja Casablanca. The five goals were also scored by five different players: Franck Ribery, Mario Mandzukic, Mario Götze, Dante and Thiago.
Flick’s team good on neutral ground
Bayern have won each of their last six competitive matches on neutral ground. That covers the last two DFB Cup finals in Berlin (2019, 2020), three games in Lisbon to win the Champions League last season, and the 2020 UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla in Budapest.
FCB arrive on impressive run
The European champions have won 17 of their last 18 international fixtures (all in UEFA competition), with the one exception the 1-1 draw away at Atletico Madrid on Matchday 5 of this season’s Champions’ League group stage. FCB had already qualified for the knockout stage, though and it’s not surprising they’re tipped clear favourites with online casino new zealand betting.
Al Ahly in good form
South African Pitso Mosimane took over as Al Ahly coach in October 2020 from Rene Weiler, who ended his contract early due to “family reasons”. The Egyptians are still unbeaten in their 22 competitive matches under Mosimane, winning 18 and drawing four.