·2 February 2023
·2 February 2023
History will be made on Saturday when the Seattle Sounders face Al Ahly in the FIFA Club World Cup.
After winning the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League, the Sounders will become the first-ever MLS team to compete at the Club World Cup tournament, beginning their campaign against Egyptian powerhouse Al Ahly.
Up for grabs is a semi-final clash with reigning and 13-time European champions Real Madrid, so both sides will be going right at it.
Here's everything you need to know about Saturday's match:
This is the first meeting between these two sides.
Brazilian midfielder Joao Paulo has been in pre-season action after recovering from a torn ACL and would be a huge boost to the Sounders' chances at this tournament. Head coach Brian Schmetzer has hinted he could play a role in Morocco.
The Sounders boast one of the strongest MLS lineups including the likes of Raul Ruidiaz, Nicolas Lodeiro, and Jordan Morris.
Seattle Sounders starting 11 (3-4-2-1): Frei; Gomez, Arreaga, Tolo; A. Roldan, Leyva, Rusnak, Morris; Lodeiro, C. Roldan; Ruidiaz.
Al Ahly enjoyed a routine 3-0 win over Auckland City in round one, avoiding injuries and red cards. They'll play a full-strength team against the Sounders to try and earn that coveted clash with Real Madrid.
Al Ahly starting 11 (4-5-1): Shenawi; Hany, Metwalli, Abdelmonem, Maaloul; Shahat, Fathi, Dieng, Sulaya, Abdelkader; Sherif.
On paper, these two teams are very closely matched - especially with Joao Paulo returning to fitness. Under normal circumstances, you'd even say Seattle edge it.
However, the Sounders have only just started pre-season, with a number of players either playing a part at the 2022 World Cup, or having the winter off entirely. This will be the Rave Green's first competitive match of the year.
Al Ahly, meanwhile, are right in the midst of their domestic campaign and sit top of the Egyptian Premier League, undefeated after 15 matches. That momentum could make all the difference.
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