Former Diego Maradona strike partner Ramon Diaz said Flamengo were “surprised” by his Al-Hilal side’s quality and their mental and tactical strength after losing 3-2 to the Saudi Pro League club in the Club World Cup semi-finals in Tangier.
The team guided by the ex-Argentina international are now looking forward to a shot at glory against 14-time UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid in the final – and each player has also been rewarded with a $266,500 (£219,000) bonus by billionaire Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
Real Madrid suffered a minor scare in their sem-ifinal against Al Ahly, conceding a second-half goal to give the Egyptian Premier League leaders hope for 25 minutes before Rodrygo and Sergio Arribas scored in added time to seal a 4-1 victory for the Spanish giants.
Here’s how to watch the action live as Real Madrid and Al-Hilal clash in the Club World Cup final.
What time is Real Madrid vs Al-Hilal kick off?
Real Madrid and Al-Hilal meet at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco. It kicks off at 7pm GMT on Saturday, February 11.
Here’s how that time translates across some of the major territories:
|Hong Kong||03:00 HKT*|
|New Zealand||08:00 NZDT*|
*Game starts on February 12 in these time zones
Real Madrid vs Al-Hilal live stream, TV channel
Here’s how to watch all of the action from this match in some of the major territories:
|USA||Fox Sports 2||Fox Sports, Fifa+|
|New Zealand||Sky Sport 7 beIN Sports, Sky Sport 3 NZ||SKY Go, beIN Sports Connect, Fifa+|
UK: Club World Cup matches are available to stream in the UK via Fifa+, where viewers around the world can also follow the action live.
USA: Fox Sports is broadcasting the final, which is also available on the platform’s app, website and on Spanish-language channel Fox Deportes.
Canada: Canadian fans can tune in on FIFA+.
Australia: SBS and SBS On Demand will be covering the final for Australian supporters.
Real Madrid vs Al Hilal lineups
Los Blancos had a long injury list ahead of this one. Thibaut Courtois, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao, Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema were among those to miss the semi-final.
Goalkeeper Courtois missed out once more, defender Militao is on the bench and Ballon d’Or-winning striker Benzema is back to lead the line against Al-Hilal.
Real Madrid lineup (4-3-3): Lunin (GK) — Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Camavinga — Kroos, Tchouameni, Modric — Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Saudi Arabia left-back Yasser Al-Shahrani remains out for Al-Hilal with a fractured jaw he sustained during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Peru winger Andre Carrillo has been passed fit despite a suspected ligament injury during Al Hilal’s semifinal.
“Flamengo didn’t expect that we would change our formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-1-1, with Luciano Vietto as an attacking midfielder,” said Diaz.
✈️ To make history and achieve glory..
Let’s go to the World Cup final🔝
— AlHilal Saudi Club (@Alhilal_EN) February 7, 2023
“Vietto ghosted behind their holding midfielders, who we identified were not good on challenges. And he was brilliant, earning both penalties and scoring a great goal for us.”
Former Argentina youth international Vietto joined Al Hilal in 2020 from Sporting Lisbon and has had spells at clubs including Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia and Fulham.
The 29-year-old lines up behind former Porto striker Mousa Marega, with Odion Ighalo having to be content with a place on the bench.
Al-Hilal predicted lineup (4-4-1-1): Al-Mayouf (GK) – Saud, Al-Bulayhi, Jang, Khalifah – Cuellar, Kanno, Carrillo, Salem – Vietto – Marega
Real Madrid vs Al-Hilal betting odds
As the most successful team in the history of the Club World Cup – all four of their wins came between 2014 and 2018 – Madrid are big favourites to beat opponents whose best finishes have been fourth place in 2019 and 2021.
Al-Hilal are fourth in the Pro League and have lost once so far this season but former Paraguay, River Plate and Oxford United manager Diaz may need to spring another successful tactical surprise if he is to oversee victory over the reigning European champions.
Odds refer to the match result over 90 minutes only.
|Australia (Neds) |
|Real Madrid Win||2/9||-375||1.26||1.33|
|Over 2.5 Goals||1/2||-210||1.49||1.65|
|Both Teams to Score||10/11||-110||1.85||1.95|