Bayern face gutsy Casablanca in CWC final

Standing in the way of the all-conquering Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola in Saturday's final will be the unlikely contenders Raja Casablanca.

Raja Casblanca vs Atletico Mineiro

Bayern have swept all before them over the past 12 months, completing a treble at the end of last season by winning the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup, and then somehow improving under Guardiola as they added the Super Cup and took a commanding lead in the league.

Nobody would bet against a side led by the coach who took Barcelona to success in this competition in 2009 and 2011, but neither would many have bet on Casablanca getting this far.

The Morroccans are enjoying a dream tournament on home soil, and a team considered to be the tournament whipping boys upset all expectations with their 3-1 win over Atletico Mineiro in the semi-final.

"The players are very motivated at the prospect of playing another massive game against top-class rivals," said coach Faouzi Benzarti.

"Bayern are a legendary club with a philosophy of their own. We're not going to be intimidated though, and we'll be looking to make the most of our opportunities. The pressure is on them, not us. I hope we can conjure up a wonderful finale to this adventure and win the title."

That said, it is hard to imagine the magic will extend as far as toppling Bayern, who look a near-unstoppable force this season.

They have heeded the warning signs from Casablanca's results so far, and are focused on avoiding a costly slip.

"We can't start to think it's going to be easy," said winger Franck Ribery. "We need to focus and take it seriously. They are a good Moroccan team."

For captain Philipp Lahm, victory is the only thing that will allow him to enjoy the coming holidays.

"This is a very special tournament and we were utterly determined to make the final," he told the club's website. "Now we want to bring home the trophy. That's what we've come here to do. It would mean we can go into the winter break with a good mindset."



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