Our Prediction Ahead Of France vs Morocco

Tom Atkinson

By Tom Atkinson

Tom Atkinson

14 Dec 2022

After a Messi masterclass helped Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 and reach another World Cup Final, we move on to our second and final Semi-Final. France v. Morocco is not a match many would have expected at this stage of the tournament, but both sides are worthy of reaching this round.

France came through despite being second best to England (with some help from the referee), taking their few chances and punishing England for not taking theirs. Hugo Lloris produced the kind of form Tottenham fans haven’t seen in years and he may be key to victory in tonight’s clash.

Aurélien Tchouaméni and Adrien Rabiot have absolutely bossed the midfield and even chipped in with a few goals. How well they control the Moroccan counter-attack could seal France’s fate. In attack, the French have a plethora of talent. Antoine Griezmann has starred in the number ten
role with three assists and Olivier Giroud, after not hitting the target in 2018, is a Golden Boot contender with 4 goals including the winner against the Three Lions. Of course, people will focus on the superstar that is Kylian Mbappé who has torn teams apart with five goals and two assists. He has
shown why he is considered one of the best of the best, and if he continues his form then Morocco will be nervous.

Morocco on the other hand has surpassed expectations and then some. They have made history by being the first side from the African continent to reach the semi-finals and it has been no fluke. Their win against Portugal was a mixture of hard-fought defending and taking that one chance at the other end. They even defended their lead at the end with 10 men. Morocco have only conceded a single goal in this tournament, showing how rock-solid they are at the back.

Yassine Bounou has been a top shot-stopper for Sevilla, but he has been sensational in goal for his country. If he keeps up this Golden Glove-winning form, he may get not only a bigger move but also the title of the most famous Bono since the U2 singer. While captain fantastic and former Wolves man Romain Saïss and West Ham’s Nayef Aguerd are injury doubts, this defence has plenty of names to call on. Achraf Hakimi is top-class at right back bringing attacking finesse and defensive prowess to his team. His battle on the wing against PSG teammate Mbappé will be a key clash in this game. Jawad El Yamiq has also been a capable centre-back, who’s surely being watched by a few Premier League clubs.

While Morocco hasn’t scored bags of goals, they have talent up top. Chelsea man Hakim Ziyech has proved fans of the London club wrong, and he’s certainly been no flop. His pace and trickery have helped Morocco up the pitch, chipping in with a goal and assist. Also proving doubters wrong is
Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri. Having scored just twice for his club this season, people wouldn’t have believed this man could do it on the international stage. And yet, his two goals including the winner against Portugal have helped his country to victory and made him Morocco’s top scorer at World Cups. If there’s someone who will be the man tonight to pop up with a winner, it’s him.

Injuries will play a big part in this game with Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano doubts, and the aforementioned Moroccan players in a similar situation. Also, Walid Cheddira is suspended from the last game. This game will be a feisty one and, in some ways, due to history will have the air of a derby atmosphere. One of the tournament’s strongest attacks faces off against the most solid defence, and it will be decided by the finest of margins.

France will be favoured, and many will see them retaining their title. But as the England game showed this France team isn’t on top form and a sturdier defence will be hard to punish. This Morocco team has dealt with Portugal and Spain and will not be scared of France.

The great Pele once predicted an African side would win the world cup by 2000. While that prediction is 22 years out of date, it may come true in Qatar. I think Morocco have it in them and may make history tonight, and maybe even Sunday evening.

Prediction: France 1-2 Morocco (AET)

Tom Atkinson