- Europe’s best meets CONCACAF’s best to decide who is the best club team on the planet
- Bayern Munich looking for their sixth trophy of a record-breaking 12 months, while Tigres are hoping to become the first team from their region to win the crown
- Read on for analysis, full odds and a best bet for Thursday’s FIFA Club World Cup final
In what is likely a Club World Cup final first, North American storylines are laced throughout Thursday’s historic meeting between UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich vs Tigres UANL, their CONCACAF counterparts.
For Bayern, the heavy -500 favorites in the contest, former Vancouver Whitecap and Canadian international Alphonso Davies will be trying to help his club match the legendary Pep Guardiola Barcelona side of 2009 with a sixth trophy. On the other side of the ledger though stands Mexico’s Tigres, the first CONCACAF team to advance to the championship match at this showpiece event taking place in Qatar. They’ll meet on Thursday at 1:00 pm EST, while the third-place match between Al Ahly vs Palmeiras will be played first at 10:00 am EST.
Bayern Munich vs Tigres UANL Odds
|Bayern Munich vs Tigres UANL||BAY -2.5 (+163) | TIG +2.5 (-205)||BAY -500 | TIG +1100
|Ov 2.5 (-200) | Un 2.5 (+155)|
All odds taken Feb. 10 at DraftKings
History Awaits Bayern
Munich striker Robert Lewandowski didn’t mince any words when discussing Thursday’s Club World Cup final. He believes his side can “write history” by beating Tigres and become just the second European club to win all six trophies available to them in a 12-month period.
First ever Club World Cup finalist from CONCACAF vs Alphonso Davies and the 30-time German Champions. Really looking forward to Thursday, @stuholden and I will have it for you at 1pm ET/10am PT on FS1 https://t.co/FYKWlFPP1I
— John Strong (@JohnStrong) February 8, 2021
The Bavarian superclub already has the Champions League, Super Cup, German Super Cup, Bundesliga and German Cup titles locked away in its expansive trophy cabinets, and just needs to add “the cherry on top,” as Lewandowski put it. Barcelona’s legendary 2009 team, which included Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, was the first and so far only European team to haul off all six. Although Bayern could have joined it in 2013, but came up short in the 2013 German Super Cup against a Borussia Dortmund team featuring Lewandowski.
Lewandowski’s Nose for the Net
The Poland international is currently in the form of his life. The FIFA Men’s Player of the year scored both goals in Bayern’s Club World Cup semifinal win over Al Ahly on Monday, to push his season total to 29 goals in 27 appearances. That’s not a bad follow-up to his historic 2019-20 campaign when he scored 55 goals in 47 appearances in leading Bayern to its first three of the six-trophy haul it hopes to complete on Thursday.
For Tigres to have any chance in the final, Lewandowski will have to be contained, although it is fair to say that players like the Munich No. 9 don’t generally ply their trade in either Mexico’s Liga MX or the CONCACAF Champions League, so the Tigres defenders will have to be more alert than ever to stop him finding the net.
Bayern’s Offensive Juggernaut
While Lewandowski is a big part of the European champions’ offensive arsenal, it’s not like the team doesn’t have other options besides him. If you look at Bayern’s route through the knockout rounds of last season’s Champions League, for instance, the team scored 19 goals in five games. Lewandowski scored just five of them, with Serge Gnabry also scoring five and the other nine fairly evenly split between another six players.
The most goals ever scored in a Bundesliga season was Gerd Muller's 4️⃣0️⃣ in 1971-72.
With 14 games to play, Robert Lewandowski has 2️⃣4️⃣ 🔥
Will he do it? 👀 pic.twitter.com/w3Jj9vZlVS
— Goal (@goal) February 10, 2021
And Bayern have been finding the net just as frequently in this season’s Bundesliga, where their 58 goals scored are 17 more than the next-highest-scoring team, Eintracht Frankfurt.
Put simply, stopping Lewandowski alone will likely not be enough for Tigres to win here.
Bayern Munich vs Tigres UANL Domestic League Stats
|15-3-2||League Record (W-D-L)||2-1-1|
Can Tigres Put Up A Fight?
While André-Pierre Gignac captures many of the headlines for his goal-scoring prowess – and rightly so after scoring all three of the team’s goals in getting to Thursday’s final – the real strength of the team is in its rearguard action. Tigres might not have needed to show it in Sunday’s 1-0 semifinal win over Brazil’s Palmeiras, given the shocking display of attacking soccer put forth by the Copa Libertadores winners, but back in Mexico, it has been their bread and butter.
The current Liga MX season just started, so the sample size of three goals against in four games doesn’t really offer much insight, but in last season’s Apertura they led the way with 14 goals against in 18 games, before following that up with the second-best defensive record in the Clausura (10 in 10).
"No other Mexican team have gone this far, but now we want more. We came here hoping to lift the trophy and now that we’re close, we’re encouraged and motivated that we can achieve our goal." -Carlos Gonzalez @TigresOficial #ClubWC pic.twitter.com/7ueomjnvXu
— FIFA Club World Cup 2020 🇶🇦🏆 (@ClubWorldCups) February 9, 2021
Slowing the offensive firepower lining up against them on Thursday will be Tigres’ only hope.
Bayern Munich vs Tigres Best bet: Under 2.5 (+155)