Reigning champions, France meet Morocco at Al Bayt Stadium in the concluding semi-final at 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Victory would see France qualify for a fourth World Cup Final, whilst Morocco are looking to further extend their longest-ever World Cup run.
France have no fresh injury or suspensions concerns following their Quarter-Final win over England, with manager – Didier Deschamps expected to name an unchanged starting line-up.
Morocco will be without Walid Cheddira after he was red carded during their shock Quarter-Final victory against Portugal.
Romain Saiss (thigh) and Noussair Mazraoui (hip) are doubts but Nayef Aguerd (thigh) is unlikely to feature.
- This is France’s first-ever World Cup meeting against Morocco, although they’re unbeaten in seven previous meetings against the Atlas Lions in all competitions (W5, D2).
- Morocco are yet to keep a clean sheet when playing against France as the away team in all competitions – excluding penalty shootouts (D2, L2).
- Both teams have scored in five of their seven previous meetings in all competitions.
- France have won three of six previous World Cup semi-finals (W3, L3).
- Morocco have conceded just one goal in five matches at this World Cup (W3, D2), which came in their 2-1 Group F victory against Canada – albeit via an own goal from Aguerd.
The only way to describe France’s Quarter-Final result against England is simply ‘clinical’ because they executed their chances well, despite getting outplayed in attack at times by England – especially in the second half but their finishing ultimately proved to be the difference.
Morocco meanwhile don’t seem fazed by their underdog status because they just neatly executed one chance amidst some solid attacks, which was enough to keep Portugal amidst constant defensive heroics to keep the Portuguese at bay throughout the match.
On paper, this feels like it is France’s match to lose but Morocco’s defence has been absolutely rock-solid all tournament, so Deschamp’s Les Bleus might need to play the long game and let their attacking prowess overwhelm Morocco.
France though will need to be wary of Morocco’s counter-attacking quality and clinical finishing ability given their own defensive issues with no clean sheets at this tournament, which could mean a closer contest than many should expect.
I though just can’t see Morocco winning this because even without various regulars, France should still have enough to beat them in the way that Croatia, Belgium, Canada, Spain and Portugal weren’t able to do so, unless the Moroccan supporters can lift the atmopshere and rattle the French.
Prediction: France 2-0 Morocco
Result: France 2-0 Morocco