Iniesta Messi Pique Barcelona
Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique take part in a training session for BarcelonaReuters

Barcelona will want to setup a should-be-fun final with River Plate with victory over Guangzhou Evergrande in the semifinal of the Club World Cup on Thursday.

River Plate sealed their place in the finale with a 1-0 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Wednesday, and will now face the winner of Thursday's clash between Barcelona and Guangzhou.

While Barcelona are the overwhelming favourites – and that might be an understatement – Guangzhou Evergrande, who upset Club America in the quarterfinals, have the personnel to cause an upset, especially two well-known Brazilians in Robinho and Paulinho.

The Chinese team are also managed by the experienced Luiz Felipe Scolari, so Barcelona can expect a tough contest, even if the Spanish side's quality should shine through in the end.

"If you look at the standard of players they have, Paulinho who was at Tottenham, we can't take them lightly," Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said. "Football is full of surprises, just ask Club America."

"We will have to be very careful with their captain [Zheng Zhi], who is an important piece in the team, capable of starting attacks along with the centre-backs, directing the midfield and getting into the box.

"If we look at the semifinals in the Club World Cup, they have always been tough and we will have to be completely focused to get through. The team are in good shape and with real ambition to do well in Japan."

One player who is unlikely to feature in this semifinal is Neymar, with the forward still struggling to overcome a groin injury. Enrique insisted he will not take a risk with the Brazilian, while hinting he will only be considered for the final, if Barcelona get through.

"The only thing I am worried about is getting him back to 100% so he can pay his part for us in the Club World Cup," Enrique added. "I am not one to take risks.

"If the moment comes, we won't force the matter, first of all we have to win the semifinal."

Scolari believes his underdog side is capable of an upset, but the Brazilian also knows Guangzhou Evergrande will be meeting "one of the best teams in the world.

"I have the utmost confidence in my players," Scolari said. "Barca are one of the best teams in the world, but we know our own qualities. We have the dedication, the intelligence and we will put in a good performance.

"We are an experienced team, Asian champions, and we have already between Mexican side America in the previous round. I have respect for Barca but I have confidence in us."

Update: Messi has been ruled out of the semifinal with renal colic.

Where to Watch Live

Barcelona vs Guangzhou Evergrande is scheduled for a 4 pm IST (7.30 pm local time, 10.30 am GMT, 5.30 am ET) start.

India: TV: Neo Prime and Neo Sports.

Spain: TV: Cuatro and Energy.

China: TV: PPTV Sports, CCTV 5 and Guangdong Sports.

Japan: TV: NTV.

Australia: TV: Fox Sports 4. Live streaming: Foxtel.

South America: TV: Fox Sports. Live stream: Fox Sports Play.

USA: TV: Fox Sports 1. Live stream: FoxSoccer2Go.

Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live streaming: Watch Sportsnet.

Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Sports Arabia. Live stream: Bein Sports Connect.

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