Chelsea take on Mexican side Monterrey in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup on Thursday. Interim manager Rafael Benitez has already stated that Chelsea will take the competition seriously and a win against Monterrey will ensure our passage into the finals of this tournament.
The format of the Club World Cup is such that both the European champions (Chelsea) and South American champions (Corinthians) get a bye into the semi-finals of the tournament. Corinthians won their match against Egyptian side Al Ahly 1-0 and are through to the finals. Should Chelsea lose, the team will have to contest the 3rd place play-off against Al Ahly.
Monterrey qualified for the tournament as the winners of the CONCACAF Champions League by beating Santos Laguna over 2 legs. The Mexicans had to qualify for the semi-final via the group stages and will no doubt be up for the match against the Champions of Europe.
Chelsea will be without the services of skipper John Terry for the tournament. Expect Frank Lampard to captain the side if he starts tomorrow, otherwise Petr Cech will have the honour of leading out Chelsea in their first ever Club World Cup campaign.
1) Rafael Benitez has previously won the competition with Inter Milan in 2010.
2) Should Chelsea win the tournament, we will become only the 2nd English team to win it after Manchester United.