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|Player To Score||Odds|
|Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres)||+325
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Weeks, months, and countless matches have now culminated to this very moment: A Club World Cup Final. After a delay to the competition, the 2020 edition of the tournament will finally have a champion this week when North America’s Tigres take on Europe’s Bayern Munich.
There’s plenty to analyze and decipher from both teams — including, of course, Bayern as the heavy favorites — but that said, there is a figure from Tigres that will give them a fighting chance.
Following impressive performances in the quarterfinal and semifinal stages of the competition, striker Andre-Pierre Gignac should once again help guide Tigres’ attack against Bayern. The man seems to be on a mission in his mid-30s, and if you’re looking for a confident and experienced name that should step up for the underdogs, look no further than Tigres’ top striker.
Gignac to score during Thursday’s Club World Cup Final (+325)
|Tigres vs Bayern Munich Information|
|What||Tigres vs Bayern Munich|
|Where||Education City Stadium (Al Rayyan, Qatar)|
|When||Thursday, February 11th at 1:00 PM ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
Do Tigres have a chance in the Club World Cup FInal? Can they go toe-to-toe with arguably a top-three team in the globe?
We can’t ignore what Bayern are capable of. This is a club that not only have eight Bundesliga titles since 2012 but also two UEFA Champions League championships since then as well. To list all of their team achievements is an article in itself, and when looking at their individuals, let’s just say that three players from the 2020 FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 could get the start for Bayern on Thursday.
And yet, you also can’t say that Tigres will go down easy. They have an experienced roster, a well-respected manager, and most importantly, a world-class striker who could be a gamechanger in the final.
Let’s dive into some goalscoring stats.
Since arriving at the club in the summer of 2015, the French player has been outstanding with 150+ goals in all competitions for Tigres. Despite the fact that he recently turned 35, Gignac has yet to slow down his pace either.
Gignac finished the 2020 Concacaf Champions League tournament as the leading goalscorer, and in his last six games in all competitions, the former Marseille player has accumulated eight goals and one assist.
And it isn’t just against Liga MX opponents either.
Gignac has three goals in his first two games of the Club World Cup, and regardless of the daunting upcoming opponent, his support behind him should continue to provide plenty of chances going forward.
It might be predictable, but Tigres’ tactics work. Through a traditional 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1, manager Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti prioritizes a patient build-up approach that focuses on providing plenty of distribution and crosses to Gignac up top.
And why not?
Excellent in the air and aggressive with his headers, the striker is the primary reason why Tigres are able to dominate most of their opponents in recent years. His powerful shot, which is capable of hitting the target from a distance if needed, is also a valuable asset that Tigres utilize in the final third.
Barring some sort of dramatic and unexpected change in tactics, Ferretti will be looking to funnel most of his goalscoring opportunities through the striker who will be Tigres’ one true hope.
Let’s be real, a man for man, Bayern can stop every player on Tigres’ roster. Wingers Javier Aquino and Luis Quiñones could be muscled off the ball, attacking midfielder Leo Fernandez still has much to prove and striker Carlos Gonzalez doesn’t appear to be at 100% after recovering from an injury?
But what about Gignac?
If he were thrown into the Bundesliga at this point in his career, it wouldn’t be much of a shock to see the powerful figure (with occasional moments of finesse) take charge of a potential title-contender. Granted, he doesn’t have much pace, but he more than compensates for that with his goalscoring and positioning in the final third.
With that in mind, Gignac stands as Tigres’ best chance this Thursday. And if there’s a corner, a free-kick or simply a random cross that’s heading to Bayern’s 18-yard box, more than likely, Gignac will be there to capitalize on it.
Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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