Chelsea vs. Corinthians, 2012 Club World Cup: A glorified friendly that features a job interview

Lintao Zhang

When Chelsea and Corinthians meet on Sunday, they'll be playing for a world championship, because FIFA says so, we guess.

Chelsea or Corinthians will be crowned world champions on Sunday, as if the FIFA Club World Cup has any bearing on the opinions of football fans across the globe. If Corinthians win, everyone who supports any club but Corinthians will think to themselves, 'oh, that was pretty cool', and then proceed to forget about Corinthians for a bit. If Chelsea wins, it will be expected and everyone will quickly turn their attention to Chelsea's domestic league campaign.

Since this game isn't actually about who wins and who loses, it's mostly about Rafa Benitez's tinkering and a potential job interview.

In Chelsea's win over Monterrey, the Blues' new manager decided to give central defender David Luiz a run-out in the center of midfield. Rafa still doesn't seem to like the idea of Frank Lampard as a pivot midfielder, wants to give more games to Cesar Azpilicueta, and has all of John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic fit. Don't be shocked to see another go at the Luiz in midfield experiment.

Of course, Benitez would like to stop playing a defender in midfield if at all possible, and that's where the job interview comes in. Corinthians central midfielder Paulinho has been the engine of his side for quite some time, and is heavily linked to a move to Chelsea during the January transfer window. If he performs well against the Blues, it would obviously significantly increase their interest in his services.

Match date/time: 5:30 a.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. local

Venue: International stadium, Yokohama, Japan

TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), BBC Two (U.K.)

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