After Lionel Messi and his Argentinian teammates booked their berth in Sunday’s World Cup Final, it is now time to determine who they will play. Before the tournament started, France were one of the favourites and Morocco had odds to win the tournament of 200 to 1. Today the odds are still in France’s favour, however, the Moroccans have yet to read the script!
French coach, Didier Deschamp has spoken highly of the Atlas Lions from Morocco:
“It’s fantastic what [coach Walid Regragui] has achieved. Morocco have played and beaten some of the best teams in the world, and that’s down to the players, the coach, the staff.
It’s a historic achievement. It’s not a surprise now because we’ve seen them put in a number of top performances. They haven’t stolen the victories; they’ve deserved them.”
Les Bleus failed to win any of their first three World Cup semi-finals, but they have since been on the winning side in their last three in 1998, 2006 and 2018. Will they have enough to reach back to back finals and possibly win again?
- Date: Wednesday, December 13
- Kickoff Time: 11:00 am MT / 2:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm GMT
- Location: Al Bayt Stadium
- Match Officials: Referee: Referee: César Ramos (MEX), Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morin (MEX), Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
How To Watch: TV and streaming info via Live Soccer TV
TV - Fox Network, Telemundo, ITV
Streaming - Sling TV
France Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Konate, Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
France have no fresh injury concerns coming into this match which will play a huge part in the outcome of this game. However there have been unconfirmed reports that both Rabiot and Upamecano have missed training yesterday with an illness and could miss the game.
Morocco Lineup (4-3-3): Bounou; Hakimi, Yamiq, Dari, Attiat-Allah; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Morocco could be without a number of key players for this game. Walid Cheddira was shown a red card in the game against Portugal and will miss out. Captain Romain Saiss and fellow centre-back Nayef Aguerd are doubtful with injuries.
The continued absence of Amine Harit, who was ruled out before the tournament, has clearly impacted Morocco’s ability to score goals which has been less important because of their excellent defensive record. They have only allowed one goal scored against them, which is the lowest in this World Cup.
Morocco have now done what no other African team have ever achieved by reaching the semi final. While France have the weight of big expectations, Morocco will be fearless after beating both Spain and Portugal with two clean sheets. They were also impressive beating Belgium 2-0 in the group stage. I have twice covered the Moroccans during the earlier games of this tournament and I have been unable to see how they could win.... but they do!
France are the reigning World Cup holders and are coming off a 2-1 victory over a very good England team. They did not control the game but they got the job done. The renaissance of Olivier Giroud continues and Kylian Mbappe is due to break out after being completely played out of the game against England. Even though Mbappe was kept under wraps, there were others who stepped up and contributed.
Ultimately, the depth of France should win this game. Morocco will fight to the end but the growing list of injuries is making it more difficult for them especially at the back. It would be one of the great fairy tale stories if Morocco can overcome Les Bleus. However, reality should finally rear its ugly head.
Prediction: France 2-0 Morocco
France will play in the - of the for the 7️⃣th time in their history— French Team ⭐⭐ (@FrenchTeam) December 13, 2022
It's the first time the defending champions have reached this stage of the tournament since Brazil in 1998 #FiersdetreBleus pic.twitter.com/PskO96FIIe