France has had an almost perfect World Cup run: after finishing first in Group D, Didier Deschamps’ team faced off against Poland and achieved a rather easy 3-1 victory with a goal by Olivier Giroud, and two by Kylian Mbappé. The quarter-final wasn’t so easy; against England, the French team had to push themselves and managed, thanks to a magnificent strike from Aurélien Tchouaméni and a great header from Olivier Giroud, to qualify with a score of 2-1.
Morocco is no longer to be taken lightly. The Moroccans finished top of Group F in front of Belgium and Croatia who were the favourites. In the round of 16, against all odds, they knocked out the Spanish in a penalty shootout. Spectators thought that this amazing journey would reach its end against Portugal, but the Moroccans are resourceful; the Atlas Lions took the win by the smallest of margins thanks to a magnificent header by Youssef En-Nesyri.
France – Morocco: What are the Moroccans capable of?
Morocco, following its qualification against Spain and Portugal, is now in a position to give France a hard time. Their strong point is clearly their defence. They contained Spain and Portugal’s attacks, but they also fought with their heart, which allowed them to get through some tough moments. France is surely the most difficult opponent that the Moroccans will have to face in this tournament, but anything seems possible for Walid Regragui’s players!
Face to face – France vs. Morocco: The French are the Favourites
This will be the sixth encounter between France and Morocco, but none of these have been in international competitions. Out of the 5 encounters, 3 have gone France’s way, one went to Morocco, and the last (in 2007) ended in a draw.
However, the French are clearly the favourites in this matchup; they have a 64% chance of winning, against Morocco’s 12%.
France vs. Morocco: Injuries on the Moroccan side?
On the French side, there shouldn’t be any surprises. Hugo Lloris will be in goal. The defensive lineup will be made up of Théo Hernandez, Upamecano, Varane and Koundé. In the midfield, we should see Aurélien Tchouaméni, Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann. Finally, in attack, there will be Kilyan Mbappé, Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembélé.
The Moroccan sick room is now rather full; the captain Romain Saïss went off injured against Portugal, but he isn’t the only one. This was also the case for Nayef Aguerd and Noussair Mazraoui. For Hakim Ziyech, caution is advised; the Moroccan attacker is also out with an injury, but he seems to be able to walk. Finally, Walid Cheddirah will miss the match due to a red card received in the last minutes of the Portugal match. Walid Regragui will thus have to count on the backbone of his team with Bounou in goal, along with Hakimi, Amrabat and En-Nesyri.
The keys to the match: Will France be able to break through the Moroccan defence?
The determining factor of this match will be the Moroccan defence. The French will likely pour on the attacks. But if the Moroccans manage their defence, as well as they, did against Portugal and Spain, the French might have trouble finding an opening. To win, the Moroccans must not leave any space for players like Kylian Mbappé and Olivier Giroud. If they succeed in limiting the opportunities of the French players and are clinical in front of the goal, they are more than capable of pulling off another surprise.
Other predictions worth a shot in this France – Morocco match at 4 pm
Finally, we see France winning this match and qualifying for the final. But the effectiveness of the Moroccans should allow them to score at least one goal in this match. Olivier Giroud has been in great form since the start of the tournament; against Morocco’s back line, he should have a great time. In our opinion, the match should end up a 3-1 victory for France.