In a match for third place to savour, African champions Etoile Sportive du Sahel take on their Asian counterparts Urawa Red Diamonds with both teams determined to cement their burgeoning international reputations. After losing out narrowly in their respective semi-final clashes, the pair have one final opportunity to thrill the fans at Yokohama's International Stadium before leaving Japan 2007 with their heads held high.
Third-place matches usually present a difficult challenge for players still struggling to overcome the disappointment of missing out on the final. Cast in the role of outsiders against Boca Juniors and AC Milan respectively, Etoile and Urawa can glean considerable satisfaction from having been defeated by the narrowest of margins. Now fully focused on finishing in third spot, the pair will be hoping to serve up an attacking and entertaining spectacle for the fans in Japan.
Etoile midfielder Muri Ola Ogunbiyi is unavailable due to bruising around his eye, while his team-mate Afouan Gharbi is suspended. For the Reds, the involvement of Tatsuya Tanaka and Tulio is in doubt.
These two teams have never met before. However, it is the third Africa - Asia encounter at the FIFA Club World Cup. So far, the Asians have had the upper hand in these meetings: Al-Nassr overcame Raja Casablanca 4-3 in 2000, while Al-Ittihad beat Al-Ahly 1-0 in 2005.
"Third is always better than fourth, and my players deserve some reward for the way they've performed at this tournament. I know they'll make it a point of honour to battle for a place on the podium." Etoile Sportive du Sahel coach, Bertrand Marchand.
"L'Etoile are an excellent side with several top-class players and they did very well against Boca Juniors. We are at a slight disadvantage having had a day less to recover, but we're determined to go out on a high note by clinching third place." Urawa Red Diamonds coach, Holger Osieck.