Chelsea vs. Palmeiras Predictions: Blues face tough test in Club World Cup Final
Chelsea have the chance to be crowned World Champions for the first time in their history when they lock horns with Brazilian outfit Palmeiras in the FIFA Club World Cup Final on Saturday at Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan Stadium (4.30pm, GMT / Channel 4)...
In the Roman Abramovich era the Blues have won league titles, domestic cups, and European trophies, yet they’re never lifted the Club World Cup. They came close, back in 2012, but a side managed by Rafa Benitez lost to Brazil’s Corinthians - this was the last time a European club failed to win the competition, with Liverpool the most recent Premier League club to do so in 2019.
Chelsea qualified for the annual competition after beating Man City in the Champions League final last season. Thomas Tuchel’s men entered at the semi-final stage on Wednesday, beating Leonardo Jardim’s Asian Champions League victors Al-Hilal 1-0 thanks to a solitary strike from Romelu Lukaku. Tuchel will hope to be on the touchline on Saturday, having missed the previous game due to COVID.
Opponents Palmeiras, led by manager Abel Ferreira, booked their place in the competition after winning South American’s Copa Libertadores. They faltered in the semi-final stage of last year’s Club World Cup but put that misery behind them on Tuesday when they overcame Egyptian outfit Al Ahly 2-0, thanks to goals from Raphael Veiga and Dudu.
Chelsea have been installed as the 7/10 favourites to win the game in 90 minutes, Palmeiras are 19/4, with a draw at 57/20.
Chelsea vs Palmeiras Tips
Chelsea vs Palmeiras Odds
Chelsea may be the odds-on favourites to extend Europe’s dominance to nine straight years, but make no mistake about it, this will be a tough match for Tuchel’s side.
It could well feel like a home game for Palmeiras who will be roared on by a passionate 15,000 of their own supporters. They are a talented and technical side who are unbeaten in nine games heading into the final. They have excelled in knock-out football; winning the Copa Libertadores back-to-back is an incredibly impressive feat; reflected in the fact that Ferreira’s side were the first team in 20 years to seal successive triumphs.
Brazilian rivals Corinthians, São Paulo, and Internacional have each won the Club World Cup this century, a party Palmeiras will be desperate to join. And given Chelsea’s inconsistent form, they will fancy their chances over in the UAE.
Two of the last five Club World Cup finals have gone into extra-time - including Liverpool’s 2019 clash with Brazilian side Flamengo - and we fancy this outcome again in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The draw can be backed at 29/10 with SBK, which you can pair with under 2.5 goals to form a 5.55/1 double with the same bookie (in 90 minutes). Additionally you can find either club to win in extra-time at 11/2, or on penalties at 5/1 (both Paddy Power).
Three of the last four Finals have all gone under 2.5 goals, as were both of the semi-finals which Chelsea and Palmeiras were involved in. Six of Palmeiras’ last seven games have also contained two goals or less, while the same can be said for five of Chelsea’s last six matches.
Romelu Lukaku’s strike was the difference between Chelsea and Al Hilal in the semi-final, and we fancy the Belgian to play some part in the outcome of Saturday’s match.
A confident Lukaku is a defender’s worst nightmare, he's a big player for the big occasion and after returning to goalscoring ways on Wednesday he can be backed at 9/5 with BetVictor to find the back of the net in the final (90 minutes).
"He's very happy, we're very happy and hope he continues and scores in the final," Chelsea coach Zsolt Low said ahead of the final.
Lukaku, who has three goals in his last six cup games, links up well with Kai Havertz, with the duo expected to start once again on Saturday. The former is also available at 4/1 to open the scoring for the second time four days.