UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid are the favourites to win the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup which starts tomorrow in Japan ©Getty Images

The 13th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup is due to get underway tomorrow in Japan, where seven sides will be looking to establish themselves as the best club football team in the world.

South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns, Atletico Nacional of Colombia and Japan's Kashima Antlers will be making their tournament debuts with the newcomers joined by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea and Mexico's Club America, making their second and third appearances respectively.

New Zealand's Auckland City and 2014 winners Real Madrid of Spain will also be competing.

With a formidable squad full of international stars, Zinedine Zidane's Real will be the team to beat in east Asia, with games taking place in Osaka and Yokohama.

The pre-tournament favourites, Los Blancos are aiming for a second Club World Cup title after their 2014 triumph, where goals from Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale saw off San Lorenzo in Morocco.

The Spanish giants  and European champions also have the added incentive this year of succeeding La Liga rivals Barcelona as winners.

Eight of the last 12 winners have hailed from Europe but 2016 Copa Libertadores champions Atletico will be strong contenders.

Led by Reinaldo Rivera, the Colombians won the South American competition following a 2-1 aggregate win over Independiente del Valle of Ecuador and, with prolific Miguel Borja leading the line, the Medellin outfit could be surprise contenders. 

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Champions League winners Club America, meanwhile, will be keen to atone for their abrupt exit last year.

The Mexican side saw their 2015 journey ended prematurely, bowing out at the hands of Guangzhou Evergrande of China in the quarter-finals.

They face Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League winners Jeonbuk in the quarter-finals - 10 years after both sides last met in the competition.

One of the three sides making their first appearance at the tournament, Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League winners Mamelodi will go into their opening game at Osaka's Suita City Football Stadium full of confidence.

A domestic league title triumph in May was followed by continental success in October, and of the five nominees listed for CAF’s African Player of the Year award, four play their football for the Pretoria-based side.

Colombia's Atletico Nacional are the South American representatives after they won the 2016 Copa Libertadores final ©Getty Images
Colombia's Atletico Nacional are the South American representatives after they won the 2016 Copa Libertadores final ©Getty Images

In the second round, the Sundowns will face the winner of the Kashima Antlers and Auckland City match, the two sides competing in the opening game.

Kashima will be on a high after just being crowned Japanese J1 League champions on Saturday, to earn a host nation berth for the competition. 

The newcomers face off against regulars Auckland City, the Oceania champions who will be making a record eighth appearance.

The International Stadium will be the venue in Yokohama.

History will be made at the tournament with video assistance being used to support referees with “match-changing” decisions for the first time in a FIFA competition.

“This represents a big step forward in terms of testing the technology,” says Marco van Basten, FIFA’s Chief Officer Technical Development.

“We feel well prepared after setting everything up with the support of The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the host broadcaster Dentsu and NTV and Hawk-Eye, one of a number of providers that offer such technology."

This trial will involve video assistant referees (VARs) being given access to all broadcast feeds inside a video operations room, enabling them to provide information to the referee on the field of play in order to correct clear mistakes in “match-changing” situations.

These include serious incidents including goals, penalty decisions, direct red cards and cases of mistaken identity. 

The VARs will play a supporting role along with the assistant referees and the fourth official, but the referee will continue to take the first as well as the final decision on the field of play

The sole first round match is due to take place tomorrow before quarter-final action takes centre stage on December 11.

Real Madrid and Atletico Nacional open their campaigns in the semi-finals and they will play their last four matches on December 15.

The final will then take place on December 18 at 7.30pm local time.