Champions League winners Chelsea are set to kick off their Club World Cup campaign against Monterrey in the Yokohoma Stadium, Japan. The Champions League winners only need to win the match against Monterrey to progress to the final against Corinthians, but manager Rafa Benitez has warned the Mexican side should not be underestimated and that he will field his strongest side.
"Use the best team possible for winning the first game and after that I will think about the other one. So my experience is you cannot leave things for the final because you have to win the semi-final."
For Chelsea, languishing in third in the Premier League table and already out of the Champions League, the Club World Cup provides an opportunity to win some welcome silverware just before Christmas. Blues defender Gary Cahill said that the players recognise the importance of the competition.
"It's hard to get into this competition in the first place so we've travelled all this way. We want to go as far as we can to win it. And since we've been over here we've realised how big it is I think. We've got some Brazilians in our squad and its absolutely huge for them I've seen the send-off they've (Corinthians) got from the airport and it's amazing. So it's sunk in now I think how big it is for us and we're looking to do really well in it and like you said it is an opportunity to win a cup."
Favourites for the game, Chelsea will be hoping the rehabilitation of Fernando Torres continues in Japan, where the Spanish striker has scored four times in the last two games.
Written and presented by Alfred Joyner