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Our Predictions Ahead Of Morocco vs Portugal And England vs France

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

10 Dec 2022

Yesterday’s games saw a huge upset, as Croatia game from a goal down to beat Brazil on penalties. The other fixture saw tempers flare, with a record number of yellow cards being given out as Argentina dispatched the Netherlands on penalties. Today’s round of fixtures are set to carry on that intensity, and these are our predictions ahead of a huge game for the Three Lions tonight:

Morocco vs Portugal

Morocco proved against Spain that they have built something really special at this World Cup. They dug in and ground out a performance that has got a nation to believe that anything is possible. Hakim Ziyech, Achraf Hakimi, and Yassine Bonou have been outstanding throughout the tournament, but it is what Morocco do off the ball is just as impressive. Sofyan Amrabat controlled the midfield in their last fixture despite having minimal possession.

Portugal on the other hand blew past their opponents in the Round of 16 amid a whirlwind of media scrutiny. Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t covered himself in glory in recent weeks, and continues to cause Fernando Santos a headache with his antics away from the pitch. His understudy, Goncalo Ramos, seized his opportunity in their last game and will be hoping to continue his fine form as Portugal progress through the rounds.

Portugal will need to be direct in their passing, rather than merely just dominating possession. Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes have to be the most influential on the pitch today if Portugal want to win comfortably, but Morocco have already shown how they can frustrate elite opposition. If the European side can get an early goal, they should have enough star power across the pitch to see out a result.

Score Prediction: Morocco 0-2 Portugal

England vs France

France offer arguably the biggest test that Gareth Southgate has faced in knockout football. Kylian Mbappé might well be the best player in the world at the moment, while Ousmane Dembelé has the pace to cause Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire real trouble. Defensively, they are more than solid, and Aurélien Tchouaméni is one of the brightest midfield talents football has to offer.

England have been one of the best performers at the World Cup so far, and their build up from wide positions has been enough to cause other teams to come unstuck. Since Jordan Henderson has come into the side, there has been a real balance to the midfield, allowing Jude Bellingham to express himself while he dictates the game from a more advanced position in the middle of the park. Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka have been impactful in the final third, and Southgate can call upon a wealth of offensive weapons from the bench to change the game.

If England are to win, they need to win the midfield battle and dictate the tempo of this match. If the game becomes stretched, France will gain the advantage with their pace from wide areas playing off Olivier Giroud. However if England can dominate the ball and break down France from the flanks, they could find some joy. I expect this one to be a hard-fought, close game, with both sides trying to

ify the best players on the opposition team. France will feel that as champions, they have the experience to weather the English storm, but if Gareth Southgate can be tactically astute, England have a real chance.

Score Prediction: England 2-2 France (England win on pens)

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