We look ahead to the final of the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup with our Manchester City vs Fluminense prediction and preview. Can Pep Guardiola win a fourth Club World Cup title?
Manchester City vs Fluminense Stats: The Quick Hits
- Manchester City are predicted to win the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup by the Opta supercomputer, with an 81.8% chance of victory before kick-off.
- Pep Guardiola will be looking to win a fourth Club World Cup title after previous success in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
- The last Brazilian team to win the FIFA Club World Cup were Corinthians in 2012, who beat Premier League side Chelsea 1-0 in the final.
The 2023 FIFA Club World Cup final takes place at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday and will see 2023-24 UEFA Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup winners Manchester City face the winners of the 2023 Copa Libertadores, Fluminense.
Man City will be looking to become just the fourth English club to win the FIFA Club World Cup after Chelsea (2021), Liverpool (2019) and Manchester United (2008), with Pep Guardiola stressing the importance of the match following Tuesday’s semi-final victory over Urawa Red Diamonds.
“The players know how important it is for the club,” said the Spaniard. “To be in this final, you have to do incredible things like win the Champions League. This may be the only time we play this in our lifetime.”
This will be Guardiola’s fourth participation in the FIFA Club World Cup final as a manager, lifting the trophy in each of his previous three attempts with Barcelona (2009, 2011) and Bayern Munich (2013). He has won all seven of his games across those editions.
Brazilian clubs have won four FIFA Club World Cup titles, which is fewer than only those from Spain (eight), but the last team from Brazil to win the title were Corinthians back in 2012, when they beat Premier League club Chelsea 1-0 in the final. European sides have won each of their last 21 FIFA Club World Cup matches, a run stretching back to that Chelsea defeat to Corinthians 11 years ago (1-0). Three of the four defeats in Club World Cup matches by European clubs, though, have been English teams: Vasco da Gama 3-1 Man Utd in 2000, São Paulo 1-0 Liverpool in 2005, and Corinthians 1-0 Chelsea in 2012.
Man City enter this match after a period of mixed form, winning just four of their last nine competitive matches. They comfortably dispatched Urawa Red Diamonds in Tuesday’s semi-final, but draws with Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace as well as a defeat away to Aston Villa on 6 December have shown Man City do have frailties in their current squad. Things are made worse by the fact they have been without top scorer Erling Haaland for the last four matches.
Their semi-final win over Urawa Reds was a dominant one, where City outshot their opponents 25-2 and didn’t concede a single shot on target to the Japanese side. After an own goal from Marius Høibråten opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, second-half goals from Mateo Kovacic and Bernardo Silva sealed City’s place in Friday’s final.
Last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium saw City concede an equaliser in the 95th minute thanks to Michael Olise’s penalty. They had led 2-0 with 14 minutes remaining after goals from Jack Grealish and Rico Lewis but let their two-goal lead slip and now sit five points off the top of the Premier League table.
Fluminense had an underwhelming 2023 Brasileirão season, finishing seventh and 14 points off eventual league winners Palmeiras. They did, however, win the 2023 Copa Libertadores in their own stadium, the Maracanã, back in November thanks to a 2-1 victory over Argentinian giants Boca Juniors after extra-time. It was their first-ever Copa Libertadores title and one with which they qualified for this Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.
Their 2-0 semi-final win over Egyptian side Al Ahly came courtesy of goals from Jhon Arias and John Kennedy. It was their first competitive win since 29 November, after they lost their final two games of the Brazilian top-flight season versus Palmeiras and Grêmio.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off in the FIFA Club World Cup final, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Manchester City vs Fluminense Prediction
Manchester City are the overwhelming favourites to win the FIFA Club World Cup final against Fluminense on Friday. The Opta supercomputer’s 10,000 pre-match simulations saw Guardiola’s side win on a massive 81.8% of occasions, with the Brazilian side only winning 7.2%. Of the simulations before kick-off, 11.0% saw the game drawn inside 90 minutes and head to extra-time.
Manchester City vs Fluminense Squads
Ederson, Kyle Walker, Rúben Dias, Kalvin Phillips, John Stones, Nathan Aké, Mateo Kovačić, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Stefan Ortega, Julián Álvarez, Bernardo Silva, Sergio Gómez, Joško Gvardiol, Manuel Akanji, Matheus Nunes, Scott Carson, Phil Foden, Oscar Bobb, Max Alleyne, Mahamadou Susoho, Rico Lewis, Micah Hamilton.
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Fábio, Samuel Xavier, Marlon, Alexsander, André, Matheus Martinelli, John Kennedy, Ganso, Keno, Marcelo, Germán Cano, Danielzinho, Jhon Arias, Pedro Rangel, Guga, Thiago Santos, Felipe Melo, Nino, Yony González, Barbosa, David Braz, Lima, Vitor Eudes.
Coach: Fernando Diniz