Urawa Red Diamonds will face Al Ahly in the FIFA Club World Cup third-place playoff at the Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah.
Urawa Red Diamonds managed a 1-0 win over Club Leon before falling 3-0 to Manchester City in the semi-finals. Maciej Skorza’s side displayed defensive resilience but couldn’t secure a breakthrough against City.
Having endured a challenging run with three wins in 11 games across competitions, Urawa aims to bow out on a high in Skorza’s final game. Their previous third-place playoff in 2007 saw them clinch victory on penalties.
They have featured in the most games in Club World Cup history (24) and are looking to secure a win to end the tournament on a positive note before returning to domestic competitions.
Skorza bids farewell in his last game, while Jose Kante, announcing his retirement, will feature for the last time. Urawa might field a similar lineup as in their previous games, with Alex Schalk hoping for a starting spot.
Al Ahly’s Ahmed Kouka could return to the lineup after missing the last game due to injury. Anthony Modeste, back from suspension, may feature up front, while Ali Maaloul, Emam Ashour, and Hussein El Shahat are expected to retain their positions.
Urawa Red Diamonds: (4-2-3-1)
Sekine, Scholz, Hoibraten, Akimoto;
Okubo, Yasui, Koizumi;
Al Ahly: (4-3-3)
Hany, Ibrahim, Abdelmonem, Maaloul;
Kouka, Ateya, Ashour;
Tau, Kahraba, El Shahat
Prediction: Urawa Red Diamonds 1-2 Al Ahly (after extra time)
Expect a tight contest with both teams evenly matched. Al Ahly’s experience and recent form may see them edge past Urawa in extra time to secure the third-place finish.