The challenge posed by Copa Libertadores champions Fluminense should bring out the best in Manchester City. Tonight’s FIFA Club World Cup final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will see Europe’s best clash with South America’s finest. It promises to be an entertaining affair with both sides playing attacking football albeit in different styles.
The Fluminense side of Fernando Diniz will look to play on the front foot. They don’t appear set up to sit back and dig in defensively. En route to winning the Copa Libertadores with a 2-1 win over Boca Juniors the Brazilian side played free-flowing football. They scored 24 goals in last season’s Copa Libertadores as their free-flowing football took them to South American club football’s highest honour.
With German Cano leading the line Fluminense possess a potent attacking threat. The striker scored 13 goals for the Brazilian side in last season’s Copa Libertadores. With Ganso and John Kennedy also in the line-up, Fluminense are likely to go toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola’s side.
Such challenges usually bring out the best in the European champions. They will be up for the occasion as a chance to create history awaits. A chance like the one on offer tonight may never come again for Manchester City so it is expected that Pep Guardiola and his players will be up for the occasion.
Guardiola compared Fluminense’s style to the great Brazilian sides of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. He told the media: “They play typical Brazilian style of the 1970s, 80s and the early 90s like when Brazil won the World Cup in 1994. They play lots of ball, short passes, one v one, physicality. We have to be aware how much they will try to run behind.”
Tonight’s final will be a challenge for Manchester City. It is one they will need to be up for to create history.