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Corinthians vs Chelsea Preview: Chance for Season’s First Glory

Chelsea showed more than flashes of brilliance in the 3-1 win over the Mexican club Monterrey. However, Rafa Benitez’s men need to produce more of that when they take on the Brazilian club Corinthians because they are extremely defensive. Chelsea managed to win the Champions League by playing defensive football, but have since become one of the extravagant sides in the world. Corinthians, though, still remain a very defensive unit that is hard to break down.

Whilst Chelsea have improved the squad by bringing in several attacking players over the summer, Corinthians have lost many important players who are part of the South American Champions League winning squad. Despite being sixth in the Brazilian league, Corinthians have conceded just six goals more than the leaders Fluminense.

On the positive note, Chelsea have a number of attacking players hitting top form at just the right time. Fernando Torres, Hazard, Mata, and Victor Moses have all been excellent in the last few matches. The confidence and form shown by Torres, though, is extremely key. He has five goals in his last three matches, while also scoring in three consecutive matches for the first time in his Chelsea career.

Corinthians’ Paulinho has been linked with Chelsea and it will be interesting to see how he performs in the match.

David Luiz was utilised as the defensive midfielder against Monterrey, but with Lampard returning to almost full fitness it remains to be seen if he will retain his place in the midfield. Due to the defensive nature of the opposition, it makes more sense to actually pair Lampard with David Luiz rather than Mikel.

Chelsea have already missed out on the opportunity to win two titles this season – the Community Shield and the European Super Cup. Hence, winning the Club World Cup should be an opportunity that the players simply cannot afford to miss because the chance to take part in this competition does not come always.

Here’s what Rafa Benitez said ahead of the match:

“Corinthians, unlike Sao Paulo, are very defensive, it will be difficult to create opportunities and the match will be very tough.

They have a lot of good players, not just Paulinho, I like Cassio, the goalkeeper.

Frank is a very good player and we have different options. It was only his second game back from injury; I’m trying to get him more minutes.

To have this opportunity is amazing.”

Previous team line-ups:

Corinthians (4-2-2-2): Cássio, Paulo André, Fábio Santos, Chicão, Alessandro, Danilo, Paulinho, Douglas, Ralf, Guerrero, Emerson Sheik

Chelsea (4-3-2-1): Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole, Mikel, Luiz, Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Torres

My prediction: Chelsea to win 2-0