European Champions Chelsea will join the FIFA Club World Cup in February as favourites to lift the trophy.
Their route to the title has been defined, with Thomas Tuchel’s side likely to either face Al Hilal, Al Jazira or Auckland City.
The competition is slated to take place in February 2022, but the exact date for Chelsea’s semi-final game is yet to be confirmed.
Al Jazira representing UAE will take on Auckland representing Oceania, and then the winner of that game will move on to face Asian Champions Al Hilal.
The winner of that game will then have earned the rights to face the European Champions at the semi-final stage of the competition.
At the other side of the block, African champions Al Ahly will take on North American side Monterrey and the winner of that will face South American giants Palmeiras at the semi-final stage.
The winner of that will meet the victor from Chelsea’s side of the draw in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup on 12 February 2022.
The structure of the competition has the champions from each of the world’s continents, and the champions of the host country - Al Jazira - to form a mini-competition that pits continents against each other.
Chelsea who won the UEFA Champions league in 2012 lost the Club World Cup final to Corinthians back then, and will be looking to make amends this time around.
There is the likelihood that two Chelsea’s Premier League games will be rescheduled with Thomas Tuchel’s men set to be away for almost a week in honouring the prestigious competition.
They are also likely to be without goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech, who are likely to be with their various national teams at the Africa Cup of Nations by the time FIFA Club World Cup begins.
The competition was initially scheduled to take place in December 2021 in Japan, but the Japanese government pulled out, raising concerns of Covid-19.