Chelsea take a break from domestic action to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, as they enter at the semi-final stage to play Al-Hilal on Wednesday
The delayed 2021 FIFA Club World Cup is underway and Chelsea are set to play their first game on Wednesday against Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal in the semi-finals of the competition.
The Blues qualified for the tournament after they won the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League in May and it marks their second time at the Club World Cup having previously competed in 2012.
Their opponents, Al-Hilal, qualified after winning the 2021 Asian Champions League and this is also their second appearance at the tournament after featuring in 2019.
Leonardo Jardim’s side saw off UAE Pro League side Al-Jazeera 6-1 in the previous round on Sunday to make it to this stage of the competition.
Thomas Tuchel will be keen to add another trophy to his Chelsea collection and will be expected to play a full strength side in this competition, with the Blues the natural favorites to win the whole thing.
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When is Al-Hilal vs Chelsea?
Al-Hilal vs Chelsea will kick off at 4:30pm on Wednesday, February 9 at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides, with this being the only competition they can be drawn against each other in.
However, both sides have been here before – Chelsea competed in the 2012 edition and finished as runners-up, while Al-Hilal competed in the 2019 version and finished in fourth place.
how to watch
The match has been selected for live coverage and will be televised on E4 in the UK, with coverage starting at 4pm.
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After thumping Al Jazira 6-1 on Sunday, it can be expected that Jardim will name an unchanged side for the contest with Chelsea as Al-Hilal look to record a historic victory.
The Saudi club have Odion Ighalo in their ranks, who netted in the previous game, along with former West Bromwich Albion winger Matheus Periera, former Watford loanee Andre Carrillo and experienced ex-Porto forward Moussa Marega.
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Chelsea could be without five players for this fixture, although they will be boosted by the returns of Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic after the pair missed out over the weekend due to late returns from international duty.
A late decision will be made on Edouard Mendy following his return from winning the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday with Senegal, along with Mason Mount who picked up an injury on Saturday.
Otherwise, Reece James (thigh), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (knock) and Ben Chilwell (ACL) are out.