Amidst a rough patch in domestic league play, Real Madrid have made the trip to Morocco to begin their Club World Cup journey, slotting into the semifinals against Egyptian side Al Ahly.
Madrid, as defending UEFA Champions League winners, are the European participants in this year’s competition, tasked with maintaining the continent’s dominance in the event. The European participant has won each of the last nine Club World Cup titles, and has never failed to reach the final of the FIFA tournament in its current format.
The task is tall today, however, as they deal with both injuries and poor form. Star striker Karim Benzema and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois are both missing with various physical ailments, and Los Blancos have fallen eight points back of Barcelona atop the La Liga table as they stumble in domestic play.
Their opponents, Al Ahly, are in great form, topping the Egyptian Premier League table this season and yet to taste defeat. They beat CONCACAF representatives Seattle Sounders last time out, shaking off a poor first half and remaining resolute to score a late winner for a 1-0 victory.
LIVE: Real Madrid vs Al Ahly – FIFA Club World Cup semifinal
How to watch Real Madrid vs Al Ahly
|USA||Wed, Feb. 8||14:00 ET||Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes||fuboTV, Fox Sports Go|
|UK||Wed, Feb. 8||19:00 GMT||—||FIFA+|
|Australia||Thu, Feb. 9||06:00 AEST||SBS||SBS On Demand|
|Canada||Wed, Feb. 8||14:00 ET||—||FIFA+|
|India||Wed, Feb. 8||23:30 IST||—||FIFA+|
|New Zealand||Thu, Feb. 9||08:00 NZST||Sky Sport 1||Sky Go NZ|
|Malaysia||Thu, Feb. 9||03:00 MT||—||FIFA+|
|Singapore||Thu, Feb. 9||03:00 SST||—||FIFA+|
|Hong Kong||Thu, Feb. 9||03:00 HKST||—||FIFA+|
This Club World Cup semifinal will be broadcast on television in the United States on Fox Sports 2, while SBS has the rights in Australia.
For all territories without a designated broadcaster, this match can be found on FIFA’s streaming service FIFA+.
Dreams do come true.. Good night ❤️#ClubWC#YallaYaAhly pic.twitter.com/aGR9TSfEef
— Al Ahly SC 🇬🇧 (@AlAhlyEnglish) February 7, 2023
Real Madrid vs Al Ahly confirmed lineups
Real Madrid are the defending European champions, but they are vulnerable at the moment, both on injury and on form.
Los Blancos are missing Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy, Eden Hazard, and Lucas Vazquez all of whom are out for this match. Benzema, Courtois, and Militao did not even make the trip to Morocco, while the others could potentially be available for the final should they advance.
David Alaba has recovered from a calf problem, and starts in defence, with midfielder Eduardo Camavinga covering at left back. Andriy Lunin will continue in goal, with Courtois missing, while Aurelien Tchouameni has recovered from his injury absence to start in midfield.
Real Madrid XI (4-3-3): Lunin (GK) — N. Fernandez, Rudiger, Alaba, Camavinga — Kroos, Tchouameni, Modric — F. Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr.
😉 @David_Alaba 👟@adidasfootball | #adidaspredator pic.twitter.com/fK1gIUE6Bm
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) February 8, 2023
Al Ahly’s most recognisable star player is goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy, who has 42 caps for Egypt and is one of the country’s most popular players.
Leading scorer Mohamed Sherif returns to the starting line up, with South African striker Percy Tau on the bench, but two Egypt internationals, Akram Tawfik and Karim Fouad, are missing due to ACL tears.
Al Ahly XI (4-5-1): 1-El-Shenawy (GK) — 30-Hany, 4-Metwaly, 24-Abdelmonem, 21-Maaloul — 9-Kader, 14-El-Shahat, 15-Dieng, 17-Al-Sulaya, 19-Magdy — 10-Sherif
Real Madrid vs Al Ahly betting odds & lines
Odds via Caesars(USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), SkyBet (UK), and Neds (Australia).
Real Madrid are considered heavy favorites in this match despite the numerous injuries and poor recent form, with Al Ahly considered 7/1 or almost 8/1 underdogs in some places.
Interestingly, despite Real Madrid’s status as heavy favorites, the bookmakers do seem to consider the extensive injuries to Los Blancos when looking at game flow. The over 2.5 goals total is only a slight favorite, with the injury to Karim Benzema clearly affecting the situation.
|Real Madrid win||-255||-244||4/11||1.40|
|Al Ahly win||+750||+620||13/2||7.00|
to score Y / N
|+110 / -140||-102 / -154||10/11, 4/5||2.00 / 1.73|
|Over / Under
|-125 / -105||-122 / -104||8/11, 1/1||1.77 / 1.98|
|Real Madrid -1.5||+115||+118||—||—|
|Al Ahly +1.5||-145||-151||—||—|