Bayern Munich Start Quest for FIFA Club World Cup
By Football News
Bayern Munich begin their quest for a fifth title of 2013 when they meet Guangzhou Evergrande in Tuesday's FIFA Club World Cup semi-final.
Pep Guardiola's side have already lifted the Bundesliga, the UEFA Champions League, the DFB-Pokal and the UEFA Super Cup this year, but could face a tough test against their Chinese counterparts.
Guangzhou have had one of their most successful years as well, they claimed their third Chinese Super League title in October and secured a first AFC Champions League crown a month later.
Marcello Lippi's side have only lost four times in 2013 and will be full of confidence following their 2-0 quarter-final victory over Al Ahly on Saturday.
Bayern are playing in the competition for the first time in its current format and arrive in Morocco top of the league, where they will remain heading into Germany's mid-season break.
Guardiola has won the competition twice before – with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 - and despite their successes this year he has urged his side to remain focused after being disappointed with their performance against Hamburg on Saturday.
"We're flying to Morocco to win the last title this year," he told the club's official website.
"(Against Hamburg) the players already had Marrakech on their minds, we've got to correct that (so) I'll be trying to convince the players that there is still a lot of work to be done."
Like their German opponents, Guangzhou are making their debut in the tournament, and will look to their three South American stars to help them cause an upset.
Muriqui, Elkeson and Dario Conca all shone in their victory over Al Ahly in Agadir, with the latter two scoring the goals in their win.
Brazilian striker Elkeson opened the scoring in the 49th minute, but he knows it will be a tough challenge to overcome the European champions.
"It's going to be a very difficult task," he said. "After all, they won the UEFA Champions League and are the favourites for the Club World Cup.
"We'll need to prepare really well to be in with a chance of knocking the Germans out, because the match is sure to be tricky."