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France vs Morocco: 2022 World Cup Preview & Potential Line-ups

by Marko Vrakela
world cup trophy.jpeg
world cup trophy.jpeg

France's World Cup title defense continues on Wednesday as they take on the Qatar tournament's surprise package Morocco in a tasty-looking semi-final.

Whoever comes out on top of the first-ever competitive encounter between these teams will lock horns with Argentina in the title decider on Sunday.

Inspired by their talismanic captain Lionel Messi, La Albiceleste hammered Croatia 3-0 in the first semi-final to reach the World Cup final for the first time since 2014. 

France could become the first reigning World Cup champion to qualify for the showpiece event since Brazil in 1998 after dispatching England 2-1 in a dramatic quarter-final. 

Goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud canceled out Harry Kane's penalty, yet Les Bleus had to thank the Tottenham Hotspur skipper's late miss from the spot for setting up this tie. 

On the other hand, Morocco's fairytale in Qatar continued at the expense of Portugal, with Youssef En-Nesyri's first-half header crushing Cristiano Ronaldo's dream of lifting the Jules Rimet trophy. 

Before sinking the Selecao 1-0, the Atlas Lions claimed another massive Iberian scalp as they crashed Spain out on penalties after a tepid 0-0 draw. 

Match Preview

France 

Les Bleus are two wins away from becoming the first nation to defend the World Cup crown since Brazil in 1962, but there's no room for complacency in Didier Deschamps' corner.

As the only team in Qatar yet to keep a clean sheet, France will be out to defy their underwhelming World Cup record against African countries (W3, L3) and avenge a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in a Group D dead rubber.

Having avoided defeat in all five previous meetings with Morocco (W3, D2), the defending world champions will feel confident about navigating their World Cup semi-final tie for the fourth time in a row. 

Morocco 

No strangers to pulling off upsets, Morocco will be out to prove they are no pushovers once again, having become the first-ever nation from the CAF region to get this far at the World Cup. 

Head coach Walid Regragui has turned the Moroccans into a formidable defensive unit, with the Atlas Lions conceding just once in their last nine internationals, courtesy of Nayef Aguerd's own goal against Canada.

Adding to Morocco's confidence, they've not lost any of their last six World Cup outings (W3, D3), accounting for the longest unbeaten run by an African nation in World Cup history.

France vs Morocco Potential Line-ups

France (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris; Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane, Dayot Upamecano, Theo Hernandez; Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot; Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe; Olivier Giroud.

Morocco (4-3-3): Bounou; Achraf Hakimi, Jawad El Yamiq, Badr Benoun, Yahya Attiyat-Allah; Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat, Salem Amallah; Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri, Sofiane Boufal.


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