One of the teams in Friday's final of the Club World Cup has far greater resources than the other. But can the playing field be leveled by the battle of ideas? Can Fluminense's coach Fernando Diniz win a tactical triumph over Manchester City's Pep Guardiola?

It is an exciting prospect for armchair strategists all over the world. Diniz has become something of a football hipsters' hero for the unorthodox way that he sets up his sides, and Friday is his biggest test -- and his biggest opportunity.

When Diniz started to make a name for himself as a coach almost a decade ago, he was frequently compared to Guardiola. His teams were possession based, and played their way out from the back even when they were under intense pressure. Guardiola, then, seemed like an obvious point of reference.

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But it was a comparison that Diniz always rejected. His ideas, he was keen to stress, were his own -- and time has made it clear that he was correct. Because the differences from Guardiola are at least as striking as the similarities.

In the Guardiola model, there are zones on the pitch that are supposed to be filled. Jack Grealish hugs the left touchline. When he cuts in, a fullback or midfielder is expected to go outside to keep the pitch wide. The idea is that the team is set up in such a way that the player on the ball is guaranteed to have a number of options for a quick pass. This has become known as the positional game.

Fluminense's manager Fernando Diniz employs a free-flowing tactical style at odds with the positional and possession-based style of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. (Photo by Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Diniz is being hailed by those who find Guardiola's style all too robotic, too pre-programmed. There is little that is "positional" about Diniz's team in possession. The players are encouraged to throw themselves into a chaotic rotation. Both wingers might be side by side on the same flank, and the same with the fullbacks, taking up the role of wingers.

Often, almost the entire team will be brought over to one side of the field, and they will keep the ball there in intricate passing movements, either hoping that sheer force of numbers will enable them to break through, or waiting for the moment for the surprise switch to the opposite flank -- as in the moment where Marcelo won the vital penalty that helped them win Monday's semifinal against African champions Al Ahly. The coach's model of play is so personal that in Brazil it has acquired the label of "Dinizism."

The roots of this unorthodox approach can be found in his playing career. An attacking midfielder, he turned out for some of Brazil's biggest clubs. But he disliked the experience, feeling angry at the way that the players were treated as mere unthinking commodities. As well as preparing to become a coach, he also studied psychology. He brought to the table the belief that the players can do more, that even the most clodhopping centre-back was the best in his street, and so they are capable of taking their own decisions, of assuming responsibility, of building relationships between themselves that can bear fruits when the team is looking to move the ball.

However, the very lack of structure of his teams is both a strength, and a weakness.

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The debit side of the account has been clearest in his time with the Brazil team -- Diniz has been balancing national team duties with the Fluminense job over the last few months, ostensibly keeping the seat warm for Carlo Ancelotti's arrival in the middle of next year (though there are no grounds to doubt that this will happen.)

His Brazil side has been in shambles, down in sixth place in World Cup qualification after six rounds of matches, suffering three consecutive defeats and losing for the first time at home. Only the bottom two teams in the table have conceded more goals -- and this is a side that a year ago in the Qatar World Cup allowed few shots on its goal.

Like a film director with a singular vision, Diniz has an ego. It has sustained his coaching career, with his desire to be different, sticking to his guns in the face of disappointing results -- he was handed job after job based on promise, and it is only in this current spell with Fluminense that he has finally made the breakthrough and won silverware.

His time with Brazil so far -- and no one knows at the moment how long it will last -- has been an exercise in hubris. His first words on taking the job were a declaration of supreme confidence: "There is everything in place for this to turn out well."

There was no consideration of his lack of experience at the national level, the sad fact that there would be next to no time on the training field, and the difficulties in observing players while busy with Fluminense. His Brazil side have been inefficient in attack and dangerously open in defence -- and it is the second part of the equation which is a worry on Friday.

Fluminense's lack of structure can certainly confuse the opposition when the Brazilians have the ball. But when the move breaks down, that same lack of structure can leave the team vulnerable. Ah Ahly really should have put them away on Monday -- they had the bulk of the chances. Something similar happened in the semifinal of South America's Copa Libertadores, when Fluminense were unable to handle Internacional's Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia, who missed several glaring chances to put the game to bed.

Manchester City are unlikely to be so wasteful.

In the current format of the Club World Cup there have been three South American triumphs, all of them Brazilian. Sao Paulo beat Liverpool in 2005, Internacional overcame Barcelona the following year and Corinthians beat Chelsea in 2012. They were all 1-0 wins by sides which recognised the superiority of their opponents and fought from a trench, covering up to defend and launching sporadic breaks.

This is not Fluminense's game. The circumstances of Friday's match might force them into something more conservative. But they will hope to have enough of the ball to be able to impose their own idea of play -- and it is this, the battle of ideas, which makes Friday's final of the Club World Cup such an intriguing prospect.