Manchester City to face Urawa Red Diamonds at FIFA Club World Cup

Manchester City will play Urawa Red Diamonds in one of the FIFA Club World Cup semi-finals. If Pep Guardiola’s side beat the AFC Champions League winners they will move on to the final to play either African side Al Ahly or Brazilian side Fluminense who play each other in the other semi-final.

The Japanese side booked their place to play the champions of Europe with a 1-nil win over Club Leon. They won a tense game with Alex Schalk scoring the winner in the 78th minute. Schalk had only been on the pitch for 5 minutes before he scored what turned out to be the decisive goal. It sets up a semi-final between the European champions and the champions of Asia.

Manchester City will head to Saudi Arabia to take part in the competition following today’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace. The treble winners will be aiming to become the first side to win the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup in the same season. Success in the tournament would cap a memorable 2023 for City.

Pep Guardiola wants his side to not put too much pressure on themselves to win the tournament. Speaking before today’s clash with Crystal Palace he looked ahead to next week’s matches. He said: “I want the players (to not) be desperate to win it. Just to come to play two games. Win the first one to deserve to play the final and if we don’t win it, we are going to win hopefully the Champions League in the future and will be back.”

Tags AFC Champions League winners English Premier League European Champions FA Cup FIFA Club World Cup Manchester City Pep Guardiola Treble winners UEFA Super Cup Urawa Red Diamonds