Morocco will have to stop Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud if they want to cause a shock once again as they take on France in the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.
Morocco continue to stun the world with their defiant and tremendous performances, the latest a 1-0 win over Portugal resulting in history by becoming the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals.
France, meanwhile, just about overcame England’s challenge in the quarters, with Olivier Giroud’s header giving Les Bleus a 2-1 victory.
The winner of this clash will play the victor of Tuesday’s first semi-final, between Argentina and Croatia, in the final on Sunday.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of this semi-final clash.
When is France vs Morocco?
The game is scheduled to kick off at 7pm GMT (10pm local time) on Wednesday 14 December.
The semi-final will take place at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
How can I watch it?
In the UK, the match will air live on BBC 1, and it will stream live on the broadcaster’s BBC iPlayer app and website.
What is the team news?
Defender Dayot Upamecano and midfielder Adrien Rabiot are both doubtful against Morocco after missing collective training on Tuesday. Centre back Upamecano and Rabiot, who suffer from a cold, are on light training indoors, the French federation said. Upamecano had already missed Monday’s training session. Theo Hernandez is expected to start at left-back again, in the absence of brother Lucas, while Jules Kounde continues to be given the nod at right-back ahead of Benjamin Pavard. Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe will be France’s main men in attack once more.
There are injury headaches for Morocco coach Walid Regragui. Captain Romain Saiss had to be stretched off in the win against Portugal due to a hamstring injury and, despite insisting he will do everything possible to be fit, his availability is in serious doubt. West Ham’s Nayef Aguerd missed the quarter-final win after sustaining an adductor injury against Spain but is pushing to start – and will partner Yahia Attiyat Allah or Jawad El Yamiq. Back-up striker Walid Cheddira is suspended after his red card on Saturday, yet Hakim Ziyech should be fine to start.
France: Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
Morocco: Bono; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Aguerd, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
France – 8/15
Morocco – 13/2
Draw (after 90 minutes only) – 29/10
France, given their pedigree and array of stars, are the favourites here – but so were Spain and Portugal. Morocco have been the undeniable fairytale story in Qatar, becoming the first African team to reach the final four, and one thing their squad won’t be short of is belief. Morocco will fight till the end, but France should come out on top. Narrowly. France 1-0 Morocco (aet)
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