2 days from now the reigning European champions Real Madrid will go one-on-one with the 2013/14 CONCACAF Champions League winners Cruz Azul in the semi-final of this year’s FIFA Club World Cup. The similarities end there as Real Madrid and Cruz Azul are vastly different at the moment where one currently sits atop the La Liga table with a guarantee that they will end the year at the top even with a game in hand, while the other team sits 13th in their league with only 10 points separating them from the very bottom spot. Real Madrid will be riding high after achieving their 20th consecutive victory in all competitions vs a very ‘game’ Almeria on Friday. A win on Tuesday will take them to the final of the Club World Cup where they will either face San Lorenzo or Auckland City in the hopes of capturing a trophy that has escaped their museum. Which is something you don’t get to say very often as Real Madrid is a club that has won most trophies that they have ever competed for.
Ancelotti’s men will also be looking to win their 4th title of the year which is quite an achievement as the capital club has never won more than 3 titles in a single calendar year. The Club World Cup trophy will also certainly help the case for Cristiano to get the Ballon d’Or and for Ancelotti to get the FIFA Coach of the Year award because if the Italian mister wins the title, he will be the only coach with more than 2 titles on the final shortlist.
Real Madrid will be without the services of James Rodriguez and Luka Modric due to injury while Sami Khedira, still recovering from the concussion suffered vs Cornella, is unlikely to play on Tuesday. Asier Illarramendi is the player most likely to replace James while Isco and Toni Kroos will continue to hold their place in Real’s midfield. Aside from that, the front and back lines are unlikely to witness changes.
Pre-Match Real Madrid Stats
- 20 wins in their last 20 matches.
- Conceded only 10 goals in their last 20 matches.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 32 goals in 23 matches in all competitions this season.
- Real Madrid is the team with the most goals in all competitions in Europe (83).
- They have scored at least 3 goals in 6 of their last 8 matches away from home.
- No team in Europe has scored more goals away from home than Real Madrid this season.
- Real Madrid have more goals away from home than at home in La Liga 2014/15.
- They have not conceded more than a goal in a match in almost 3 months.
- They score nearly 4 goals (3.75) per match in their 20-match winning run.
- Cristiano alone has scored more Liga goals (25) than Cruz Azul has managed in all competitions this season (23).
- Real Madrid have scored 23 goals in their last 7 matches, as much as Cruz Azul has managed in their entire season.
- Real Madrid have conceded only 3 goals in their last 8 away matches.
- Cristiano has scored 133 goals in 138 matches away from home with Real Madrid.
- Cristiano has scored 5 goals in 4 matches played on neutral ground.
- Cristiano has managed to score against 51 of the 52 teams he has faced since joining Real Madrid.
- If Cristiano scores on Tuesday, Stade de Marrakech will be the 94th stadium that Cristiano has scored at in his football career
Pre-Match Cruz Azul Stats
- Cruz Azul have equal numbers in terms of wins and losses so far this season (7 each).
- Their quarter-final win vs Western Sydney was their first and only away win this season.
- They have won only 9 out of a maximum 33 points away from home this season.
- Cruz Azul have kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 5 away matches.
- Ancelotti, Cristiano, and Kroos are the only ones in Real Madrid who have lifted the CWC.
- They have a negative goal difference away from home in 2014/15 (-3).
- Cruz Azul has not managed to win 2 matches in a row in any competition this season.
- They currently sit 13th in the Mexican League while their CONCACAF Champions League campaign ended in the group stage.
- They have failed to score a goal in a match on 9 different occasions in 2014/15.
- They;re the 4th Mexican team to make it to the CWC semi-final, no other Mexican team has progressed to the final.
- Only one team in the history of the CWC has won their semi-final match after needing extra time to win their quarter-final match.
- Cruz Azul have conceded 7 goals in their last 7 matches.
- Cruz Azul have kept just 4 clean sheets in 11 matches away from home in 2014/15.
- Cruz Azul have won only 32% of their matches in 2014/15 compared to Real’s 85%.
- They have as many clean sheets in their entire season (9) as Real have in their last 14 matches.