UAE champions Al Jazira are set to face Tahiti Ligue 1 champions AS Pirae in the opening game of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 at Abu Dhabi's Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium at 20:30 on Thursday evening.
Al Jazira will be taking part in their second FIFA Club World Cup, becoming the first Emirati club to appear in two editions of the competition.
The Abu Dhabi side will be representing the host federation after winning the 2020-21 ADNOC Pro League title.
In 2017, Al Jazira finished fourth in the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 after achieving a 1-0 victory over New Zealand’s Auckland City, then downing Asian champions Urawa Red Diamonds with the same score.
The Abu Dhabi-based outfit came close to causing one of the competition's biggest-ever upsets as they led Real Madrid, and had a goal, which would have put them 2-0 ahead, ruled out by VAR, before going on to lose 2-1 then finishing fouth after a 4-1 defeat against Mexico's Pachuca.
Al Jazira aim to do UAE football proud with a lineup featuring the likes of Ali Mabkhout, Abdullah Ramadan, Ali Khaseif, Thulani Serero, Victor Sá, Abdoulay Diaby, and others under the management of head coach Marcel Keizer whose first challenge in the competition will be to overcome AS Pirae.
Should they win the opening match, Al Jazira will face Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in the quarter-finals on February 6 at the same stadium, while the road to the final will see a game against Chelsea, who will meet the winner in the semi-finals.