Barcelona vs. Guangzhou Evergrande 2015 live stream: Time, TV schedule and how to watch Club World Cup online

Barcelona will look to book their place in the Club World Cup final with a win over Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday.

Barcelona will start their campaign to win their third Club World Cup crown when they go up against Chinese outfit Guangzhou Evergrande in Japan Thursday. Having qualified by virtue of winning the mot prestigious continental tournament on the planet, the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona are catapulted straight into the semifinal stage, and will surely be expecting to breeze into a final in which they’ll play either Argentina’s River Plate or Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

However, the team trying to pull off an upset to beat Barça are Guangzhou Evergrande, winners of the last AFC Champions League. Now coached by 2002 World Cup-winning Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Chinese side upset the apple cart to eliminate Mexico’s Club América in the semifinal, courtesy of two goals in the final 10 minutes. The man who netted the stoppage time winner was Brazilian international Paulinho, one of a couple of familiar faces in the Guangzhou starting lineup — the other being former AC Milan and Manchester City striker Robinho.

Key player: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Assuming Luis Enrique is set to start Lionel Messi, the Argentine will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing the Guangzhou defence. Though their manager Scolari is notorious for playing pragmatic, industrious football, Guangzhou lack sufficient quality in their back line to keep the world’s best player quiet for long. If he’s on form, Messi could well score a hatful.

Key factor: How far will Luis Enrique rotate his team?

However, there’s the slight possibility Messi won’t start. Coach Enrique may well opt to rotate his side, given that even a weak Barça is considerably better than the strongest team Guangzhou can field. He’s brought two Barça B stars to this tournament in Sergi Samper and Gerard Gumbau, and while both are central midfielders, it’s possible that their inclusion could be indicative of an experimental approach.

Barcelona injuries and suspensions

Out: Rafinha (knee). In doubt: Douglas (foot), Neymar (thigh).

Guangzhou Evergrande injuries and suspensions

Out: None. In doubt: None.

The only first team Barcelona player omitted from their squad for this match is Rafinha, who is out with a long-term knee injury. However, Douglas and Neymar will likely join their Brazilian compatriot on the sidelines with foot and thigh problems, respectively.

Guangzhou Evergrande coach Scolari should have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Match date/time: Thurs., Dec. 17, 5:30 a.m. ET, 7:30 p.m. local

Venue: Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, Japan

TV: Fox Sports 1 (US – English); Fox Deportes (US – Spanish); Sportsnet World (Canada)

Online: Fox Sports GO (US); Sportsnet World Now (Canada)

Listings via LiveSoccerTV

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