Football Tips: Alvarez to fire Man City to Club World Cup glory in this 23/1 Bet Builder

Our footie tipster Andrew Beasley isn't expecting a thriller in Saudi Arabia.

Man City v Fluminense Betting Tips

Man City to Win
Under 2.5 Goals
Julian Alvarez to Score
Under 10.5 Corners
Under 3.5 Cards

    Man City v Fluminense – FIFA Club World Cup Final
    Friday, December 22: 6pm
    TV: TNT Sports

    At a time when most people are looking to put their out of office message on and sneak home early for a mince pie and a drink, Manchester City will be looking to become champions of the world.

    Seeing articles with headlines like “Manchester City’s 25-year journey from York to the Club World Cup” make you laugh though. Presumably if Gillingham had beaten them in the Second Division play-off final in 1998/99 they’d now be in Saudi Arabia, preparing to take on Fluminense? There can’t be anything else powering City’s remarkable rise, right?

    Anyway, the match itself has a familiar feel when you look at the history of this tournament. We have a European team going off at odds-on favourite to win in 90 minutes for at least the 16th time in a row and we have them up against the champions of South America, who have featured in the final in 13 of the 19 previous editions.

    The outcome feels pre-ordained, and likely will go with expectation. Some recent finals show it may be closer than many people think, though, and the Brazilian side will pose a test to City.

    Man City to Win

    The reigning UEFA Champions League winner has won the Club World Cup for the last 10 years in a row and in 15 of the last 16.

    The exception occurred in 2012, when Chelsea lost 1-0 to Corinthians. See, it isn’t just this season in which the Blues have been an over hyped, heavily funded disappointment.

    Chelsea did at least manage to win this tournament two years ago, but their victory over Palmeiras highlights that these games are often tight. That match was settled in extra time, as was Liverpool’s triumph in 2019 and Real Madrid’s three years prior to that. Yes, the favourites won in the end, but were level after 90 minutes.

    Fluminense will also be inspired by their recent Copa Libertadores final win, when they became champions of South America for the first time. Their match with Boca Juniors was 1-1 after normal time, John (F?) Kennedy scoring the winner in the 99th minute.

    But even though the Brazilian side will make this game a tight battle, City’s quality will shine through in the end.

    It is hard to compare teams from different continents, so the Opta Power Rankings can do it for us. They have Pep Guardiola’s boys as the best team in the world; seems reasonable enough. Fluminense are currently 101st, which puts them equidistant between Celtic and Luton, in this sense if not geographically.

    You’d back City to beat either of those sides so you have to back them here.

    Under 2.5 Goals

    Despite the often-mismatched level of teams in the Club World Cup final, the games are usually close in scoreline if not dominance.

    When Bayern Munich beat Tigres 1-0 in 2020, the shot count was 17-3 in the Germans’ favour. It was even more extreme three years earlier, with Real Madrid having 15 shots against Gremio while conceding just one. The final score? 1-0, naturally.

    There are inevitably exceptions. Real beat Al-Hilal 5-3 last year, Al-Ain 4-1 in 2018 and drew 2-2 with Kashima Antlers (before winning in extra time) two years earlier.

    But as you’ll notice, the losing teams in those cases were from Asia (no disrespect, Asia). Only one of the last six clashes between European and South American sides has seen more than two goals, and that took a Barcelona side featuring Messi, Neymar and Suarez. There should be under 2.5 goals here.

      Julian Alvarez to Score

      Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku might be part of the City squad in Saudi Arabia but because they weren’t in the match day 23 for the semi-final, they are not allowed to play against Fluminense. It would be hilarious if Guardiola didn’t realise this.

      Chances are he will though. Against Urawa Red Diamonds, City started with a front two of Bernardo Silva and Matheus Nunes (no disrespect, Asia), with Julian Alvarez only coming on once the score was 3-0.

      With Haaland absent, the Argentine should start against his fellow South Americans, and in his preferred spot up front rather than the attacking midfield role he’s mostly played this season. Alvarez will love breaking Brazilian hearts and he’ll score to do so.

      Under 10.5 Corners

      Not only are these matches low on goals but there aren’t usually many corners either. It makes you wonder why we bother tuning in, doesn’t it?

      None of the last three Club World Cup finals saw more than seven corners (in normal time), and there can often be very few in City games when they dominate. This season, there were seven in their recent draw with Crystal Palace, four against Brighton and one fewer versus Newcastle.

      As there were 10 in the semi-final clash with Urawa, let’s not go mad and settle with under 10.5 corners.

      Under 3.5 Cards

      The last two editions of this final didn’t see a single booking in normal time, and four of the last six featured no more than one.

      Interestingly, the main exception was a broadly similar match up to this, with Liverpool against Flamengo seeing six yellow cards in 2019. However, three of them occurred in extra time and one of the others was in the 90th minute, so as we’re only worried about normal time we should aim low.

      Referee Szymon Marciniak booked two players in Fluminense’s semi-final win over El Ahly so under 3.5 cards should be a safe selection.

      Club World Cup Final Betting Tips

      Man City to Win
      Under 2.5 Goals
      Julian Alvarez to Score
      Under 10.5 Corners
      Under 3.5 Cards

      All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.


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