Chelsea have been told what to expect from Al Hilal's own Kevin De Bruyne at the Club World Cup


Chelsea have already been told what to expect from Al Hilal's own Kevin De Bruyne in the form of attacking midfielder Matheus Pereira who has been labelled "top class" in the past by one manager in particular.

Pereira, 25, already has two goal contributions to his name in this season's Club World Cup as the Brazilian prepares to face an opposition against whom he already has a good record. The former West Brom attacking midfielder had a bitter fall out during his latter days at the Hawthorns, but when his eye was firmly on performing week in, week out, he did just that.

In his 77 outings for the Baggies, Pereira racked up a total 46 goal contributions. But despite this decent record, it wasn't enough to save Sam Allardyce's side from relegation in the 2020/21 season.

 A few of those goal contributions drew comparisons to Man City's Kevin De Bruyne, with an assist in the dramatic 3-3 Chelsea game which will be remembered negatively from a Blues perspective after a nightmare Thiago Silva performance.

After that specific comeback for the Blues in which Tammy Abraham scored a last minute equaliser, Micah Richards waxed lyrical of the 25- year-old midfielder.

"What a talent he is," he said on Match of the Day via Birmingham Live. "Only Kevin De Bruyne has had more assists than him since the start of last season. He’s just so comfortable on the ball, everything that West Brom do right is because of him. "He got another assist, scored a beautiful free-kick last week, and he’s so calm and composed on the ball."

His next outing against the Blues later that season after an international break shocked and shook up the Premier League top four race at the time as the Baggies ran out 5-2 winners at Stamford Bridge. In that game specifically, Al Hilal's current No.15 netted two goals and drew "top class" comparisons once again, this time from veteran manager Allardyce.

"I have worked with some world class players in my time," Allardyce reasoned, when asked where Pereira ranks in the players he’s coached via Birmingham Live. "I can’t say Matheus is world class but he certainly has the potential to be a top class Premier League player if he continues developing.

"He is still young. I think when he is committed and when he works as hard as he did against Aston Villa, when he shows that ability - then he is certainly a big difference and a big game player for West Brom.

"He will produce more performances of that quality as he gets more and more mature. Obviously I have worked with some top quality players in my time, but in my time at West Brom he has shown some top quality skills and if that development continues he can become a top class player because he is still very young."

Surprisingly, despite these big compliments, it was two other players from the Saudi Arabian serial winners that drew praise from Chelsea's assistant Zsolt Low when he was asked to assess his opposition on Tuesday.

"We know Al Hilal, we watched the game live on Sunday with the coaching staff," Thomas Tuchel's number two said in his pre-match press conference that took place in Abu Dhabi.

"We saw two very good teams with a lot of quality. Al Jazira led 1-0 but Al Hilal came better into the game and in the end it was a big win for them. We know they won the Asia Cup a lot of times, most of the time. "It's a very good team, we know a lot of players. They have players from different situations. Marega from Porto we know from the Champions League.

"We know Ighalo from Watford in England. They have very good quality up front, they can score a lot of goals. It’s a very good team. We expected a difficult game tomorrow."

The dangerous trio of Al Hilal players have the ability to cause the European champions problems if they aren't switched on from minute one in this semi-final.

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