Now, this is a story! A semi-final between the defending Champions and the underdogs of the World Cup. France vs Morocco is a clash between two teams who managed to overcome very difficult obstacles to get here. They face each other with the urge to make a statement: it is their chance to shine and will crush anything standing their way, on a very strange but shockingly anticipated Wednesday evening.
France vs Morocco
Date: 14 December 2022
Time: 19:00 (GMT)
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor)
There have only been two back-to-back winners in the history of the World Cup and the last was 60 years ago. If someone can do it again, it is France, the most complete, the most talented team in the World Cup. France has conceded a goal in each of their five games in this tournament, but the level of play this Tricolores have maintained is nothing less than stellar.
Antoine Griezmann, Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud are playing the best football in their careers. And then you have Kylian Mbappe. Football’s next best thing, who is leading his team to greatness with his 5 goals so fan in the World Cup.
Morocco is the ultimate coach’s team. Incredibly tactically dedicated, and disciplined, Morocco has only conceded one goal thus far in the World Cup. An own goal in the Canada game.
The Moroccans always had talent, but there was also a conflict between those raised in Morocco and those born in Europe. A conflict that has been set aside, thanks largely to the work by coach Hoalid Regragui.
See how did we get to this France vs Morocco match:
vs Australia 4-1
vs Denmark 2-1
vs Tunisia 0-1
vs Poland 3-1
vs England 2-1
vs Croatia 0-0
vs Belgium 2-0
vs Canada 2-1
vs Spain 0-0 (3-1 pen)
vs Portugal 1-0
Didier Deschamps’ team has overcome all negative thoughts, their injury problems, but also the “reigning champions curse”, aiming for this back-to-back World Cup title. England was way better than their rivals, but Aurelier Tchouameni’s and Olivier Giroud’s clinical finishes gave France what they needed, to qualify once again in a semi-final of a major tournament.
There will most probably be no changes from the starting ΧΙ that we are used to, as the French coach can’t count on many players.
Two major problems: Romain Saiss managed to play 57 minutes before he was stretchered off with an apparent injury against Portugal. Walid Regragui is concerned about his captain status, especially from the moment that Nayef Aguerd (his defensive partner) is also unavailable.
Hakim Mazraoui is really unlucky in the last few days. He missed the quarter-finals facing illness and mild discomfort with his hip and he may also not be ready, leaving his team with few options in the defensive line. Attiat-Allah levelled up his game, being a valued substitute and a team member to count on. He will keep his position after also providing the assist for En-Nesyri’s header.
Walid Cheddira will watch the game from the stands after collecting two yellow cards in the last minutes of Friday’s evening clash.
France (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
Morocco (4-3-3): Bounou; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Benoun, Attiat-Allah; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Moroccan players will fight for a nation and a continent against one of the best teams in the world, in a quasi-home-field advantage, due to their fans’ appetite for a wild atmosphere, boosting their representatives. France will prevail in a yet-to-be-tactical masterpiece.
France vs Morocco Tip: Under 2,5 and France to qualify @2.15
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