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World Cup Semifinal predictions: France vs Morocco

Morocco will look to add a new chapter to their fairytale World Cup campaign by beating France on Wednesday night and making it to the final as the first African nation.

France have reached the last four by seeing off neighbours England in the quarterfinals.

Les Bleus will keep hold of the title if they win two more games in the competition, the first of which comes against a spirited Morocco side.

The Al Bayt crowd witnessed a rare event on Saturday night as England skipper Harry Kane blazed his penalty shot well over the crossbar. So, the score remained 2-1, and France made it to the semifinals without having to play extra time football.

The Three Lions presented the biggest test for France up until now for the reigning champions, and they passed it with flying colours.

However, they might face an even fiercer challenge from the Atlas Lions, who did not yet let any opposition attackers put the ball in the back of their net.

Much of Morocco’s success in this World Cup has been built on their strong defensive core.

Walid Regragui’s men have had only 32.4% possession in the tournament, but their excellent off-the-ball movement have made them an incredibly tough team to break down.

En route to the semifinal, Morocco have drawn against Croatia and beat Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. So, it’s evident that Morocco are enjoying playing as the underdogs, and they will fancy their chances against France.

Team News

Kylian Mbappé will hope to add to his tally after having a quiet night against England, but the Paris Saint-Germain ace will have to bring his A-game to breach the most resilient defence in the tournament.

Didier Deschamps should stick with the XI that started against England, which means Olivier Giroud will partner Mbappé and Jules Koundé will keep Benjamin Pavard on the bench to continue at right back.

Theo Hernández heaved a sigh of relief after watching Harry Kane failing to convert his second penalty of the match.

Hernández had conceded the penalty by shoving Mason Mount to the ground.

Had he seen red for the challenge, France would have to line up in the semifinal without a specialist left back. But the AC Milan man will return to the starting XI against Morocco.

Walid Regragui might have to make do without Romain Saïss and Nayef Aguerd in defence.

Walid Cheddira will be a confirmed absentee, as the referee gave him his marching orders in the last minutes of the Portugal game.

However, Yahia Attiyat Allah and Jawad El Yamiq are ahead of him in the pecking order, so Regragui will not be very concerned about Cheddira’s unavailability.

Our Prediction

Morocco have made us eat our words several times in this tournament, but it’s difficult to anticipate anything but a France win in this tie.

Perhaps, we will get to see another episode of Moroccan Mayhem in Qatar, but right now, it seems likely that the defending champions will make it to the finals to meet Argentina.

We predict a 1-0 win for France.

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