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FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Monterrey v Raja Casablanca

Dec 12, 2013 1:29 PM EST

Monterrey will start their campaign to match their third-place finish at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup against Raja Casablanca on Saturday.

Last year, Monterrey defeated Asian champions Ulsan before they ran into Chelsea in the semi-finals and lost 3-1.

But in the third-place play-off, Jose Guadalupe Cruz's men were too good for African champions Al-Ahly and claimed a podium finish with a 2-0 win in Yokohama, Japan.

This year marks Monterrey's third successive appearance at the Club World Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League winners will undoubtedly hope to go a step further than 2012 with Brazil's Atletico Mineiro their potential semi-final opponent, instead of Bayern Munich.

Monterrey will have to overcome Casablanca first, however, after the reigning Moroccan champions defeated Auckland City 2-1 on Wednesday.

Casablanca needed a second-half stoppage-time winner from Abdelilah Hafidi to knock off the New Zealand club after Auckland's Roy Krishna had cancelled out Mouhssine Iajour's opening goal.

Monterrey have not played a competitive fixture since November 9, after they failed to reach the quarter-finals of the 2013-14 Liga MX Apertura season.

Casablanca, by comparison, played in Morocco's Botola Pro just a week before they took on Auckland.

The Moroccan club sits in eighth in the Botola Pro standings with just four wins after 12 rounds in their domestic league.

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