2022 World Cup: Reigning champions France take on giant killers Morocco

World champions France will take on giant killers Morocco in the semi-final of the 2022 World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium
France take on Morocco in the semi-final of the 2022 World Cup
France take on Morocco in the semi-final of the 2022 World Cup

(Football news) With Argentina already in the finals, both France and Morocco will hope to join Lionel Messi’s team at the biggest stage of them all in the final match of the 2022 World Cup. The North African side defeated Portugal 1-0 in the quarter-final while Les Bleus overcame England 2-1 and now have a realistic chance of securing back-to-back titles. France can consider themselves a bit “lucky” after Harry Kane missed his penalty in the quarter-finals but they will be the favourites against Morocco.

A thunderbolt by Aurelien Tchouameni and a goal by Olivier Giroud helped France set up a semi-final clash against Morocco. Les Bleus have failed to win any of their first three World Cup semi-finals but have had a good record since then, reaching the 1998, 2006 and 2018 final. It has been 84 years since a European country reached a World Cup finals as reigning champions with Italy being the most recent team to do so (1934 and 1938). France have failed to keep a clean sheet in the World Cup so far while Morocco have not conceded a single goal by an opposition team but will feature a number of absentees, either due to suspension or injuries.

Nobody predicted Morocco to reach as far as they did, but few will say they don’t deserve to be in the semi-final. The North African side have defeated three heavyweights in Belgium, Spain and Portugal and if they do defeat France, Walid Regragui would thoroughly deserve to have a shot at making history by winning the Jules Rimet Trophy. Morocco have only conceded a single goal in the tournament, which was Aguerd’s own goal against Canada, a testament to how solid the team is. It will be challenging for Mbappe, Giroud, Griezmann and Dembele to break this team but if anybody can do it, it will be the champions.

In team news for France, Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot are doubtful after experiencing cold-like symptoms which means Ibrahima Konate and Youssouf Fofana could feature in the starting lineup. If everyone is fit and ready, Deschamps’ team picks itself with Jules Kounde featuring in right back over Benjamin Pavard while Giroud and Mbappe will make up a formidable France attack.

As for Morocco, striker Walid Cheddira is suspended against France while Romain Saiss is doubtful after being stretchered off. Hakim Ziyech is expected to be available after being forced off during the match against Portugal and one of Yahia Attiyat Allah and Jawad El Yamiq should feature in the starting lineup. Despite Morocco’s fantastic defensive record, France is expected to secure the victory to set up an epic showdown against Argentina in the World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday.

Also read: Erik ten Hag does not know when Jadon Sancho will return to Man Utd squad


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