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River Plate vs Al Ain SCC Predictions

  • 16:30
  • Expired
  • Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
River Plate
Al Ain SCC

odds when tipped

odds when tipped

Tip Reasoning

Tuesday’s FIFA Club World Cup semi-final action sees Copa Libertadores champions River Plate doing battle with Emiratis Al Ain. The Argentines are expected to book their place in the final with very few issues.

It’s been a manic couple of months for River Plate but the fact they’re contesting this match means they’ve passed by exactly as planned. Postponements, crowd trouble and an eventual trip to Madrid, their historic Copa Libertadores final with arch rivals Boca Juniors had just about everything, but Los Millonarios claimed glory with a 3-1 win after extra time at the Santiago Bernabéu and it’s now the Club World Cup crown that’s in their sights.

Having already won the Copa Libertadores with River back in 2015, this is boss Marcelo Gallardo’s second attempt at lifting the Club World Cup, with his last effort ending in a 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in the final. Nonetheless, having won South America’s biggest prize twice now, Gallardo and his River outfit will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in the club’s history and that’s a tag that could be further enhanced in this competition.

Meanwhile, Al Ain aren’t here due to being crowned kings of their continent, instead by gaining entry thanks to the fact that the UAE is hosting the competition and that they are the nation’s current domestic champions. Indeed, the match is being held at Al Ain’s Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, but there’s little doubting they still arrive as huge underdogs.

Zoran Mamic’s troops have put in mixed performances in the competition so far. They first went 3-0 down to rank outsiders Team Wellington in the first round before managing to draw level and win on penalties, but last time out they were far more convincing, putting in an excellent showing to see off CAF Champions League winners ES Tunis 3-0.

Ultimately, the gulf in terms of quality between River and Al Ain is vast and the latter face a huge ask if they are to book their place in the final. The fact Al Ain struggled so much defensively against a side as poor as Team Wellington, who are not even a professional outfit, is a real concern and they are highly unlikely to cause River any real issues.

We fully expect River to win this semi-final and to do so with ease and as such, backing them on the -1 handicap looks a great way to play. River have scored an average of 2.5 goals a game over their last 4 fixtures and with Al Ain having conceded an average of 2.66 over their last 3 outings, a 3-0 win for the Libertadores champions could well be on the cards.

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