Messi Suarez Alves Barcelona
Lionel Messi and co. will be confident of a good show at the Club World CupReuters

Barcelona are expected to walk it to the Club World Cup title after their all-conquering season in Europe, even if their opponents are set to make it as difficult as possible for Lionel Messi and co. to add the perfect gloss to what has been an outstanding 2015.

Barca dominated one and all in Europe last season, winning the Champions League title after beating Juventus in the final, having already clinched the domestic double of the La Liga and the Copa Del Rey.

The new season is going pretty well for Barcelona as well, with Luis Enrique's men leading the La Liga standings, while they have already booked their place in the Champions League knockout stages, where they will meet Arsenal in the last 16.

Before Barcelona return to the bread and butter of the La Liga, they have a couple of matches to win in Japan at the Club World Cup, a tournament which has struggled to grab the fans' attention more often than not.

Barcelona will begin their campaign in the semifinals against Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, who upset Mexican team America in the quarterfinals.

Guangzhou Evergrande is managed by a familiar face in Luiz Felipe Scolari, and you know the Brazilian will drill his team in such a manner that they will be hard to beat, even with Messi and Luis Suarez in the lineup – Neymar will miss the semifinal through injury.

"Our team did everything possible to get here and to play Barcelona, so this is absolutely spectacular for us," Scolari told Reuters.

"We know we are the small team, but I think we can do something. I have to dream and make the players believe that they can do it.

"Why not dream, why not believe we can beat Barcelona?"

If Barcelona, as expected, beat Guangzhou Evergrande, then they are likely to meet Argentine side River Plate in the final. That is, of course, assuming River Plate beat the home team Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the first semifinal of this Club World Cup.

It should be a nice matchup for Argentina international Messi, if both Barca and River book their place in the final. But, there is a job to do for both these big teams in the semifinals, if they are to make that should-be-a-nice-watch final a reality.

Club World Cup semifinal schedule: Wednesday, 16 December: Semifinal 1: Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs River Plate (7.30 pm local time, 4 pm IST, 10.30 am GMT, 5.30 am ET) at Osaka Nagai Stadium in Osaka.

Semifinal 2: Thursday, 17 December: Barcelona vs Guangzhou Evergrande (7.30 pm local time, 4 pm IST, 10.30 am GMT, 5.30 am ET) at International Stadium in Yokohama.

TV listings: India: Neo Sports and Neo Prime. Japan: NTV. Spain: Energy and Cuatro. USA, Argentina and Australia: Fox Sports. Canada: Sportsnet. China: PPTV Sports and CCTV. Middle East and North Africa: Bein Sports.

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