At 8 p.m, reigning World Champions France will face the Atlas Lions in the semi-finals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
It is safe to say no bookie predicted this card as one of two semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup between France and Morocco. the men of Walid Regragui, 22nd in the FIFA rankings – have shown heart and put out the X Factor to get to this stage, and they want to now go all the way!
After eliminating Belgium, Spain and Portugal, the Atlas Lions have another difficult game facing France, who passed their first big test against England in the quarter finals.
The winner of this match will face the Leo Messi’s Argentina on Saturday in the ultimate match.
With the two joint top scorers of the World Cup up top (Kylian Mbappe on 5 goals and Olivier Giroud, 4), ‘Les Blues’ have an impressive strike force.
In midfield, Antoine Griezmann, author of two assists against the Three Lions, has taken advantage of the freedom given him by Didier Deschamps in the midfield. He is the handyman through which the balls go through.
At this competition, Olivier Giroud became the top scorer in the history of the French team, bypassing Thierry Henry. Antoine Griezmann did the same, eclipsing the assist record.
Solid in defense, only a penalty from Harry Kane was able to beat Hugo Lloris and the tricolor rearguard in the quarter-finals that ended two-one.
Faced with the Atlas Lions and a multitude of the supporters won over to their cause, it sure will be a tough ask for France.
Since 1962, no selection has managed to retain the World Cup title. This shows the heavy task that awaits ‘Les Blues’ this week.
Morocco are already in the history books driven by their core players Achraf Hakimi (PSG), Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich), goalkeeper Yassine Bounou (FC Seville) and Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech. The Atlas Lions are currently walking on water.
Ziyech and Mazraoui who both returned to the selection after altercations with the former Atlas Lions’ coach seemingly made the best choice.
After a timid draw (0-0) when they played the first match of the competition against Croatia, it went from one impressive performance to the other.
Not only have they conceded just one goal in the entire competition, but they managed to beat three of the biggest nations in football right now (Belgium, Spain and Portugal).
To get rid of the Seleçao, Morocco relied on Youssef En-Nesyri ‘s headed goal before putting up an intransigent display in defense.
Already, against Spain in the round of 16, qualification had been obtained on penalties thanks to Yassine Bounou’s heroics.
The game will be crying out for the artistry and experience of Sofiane Boufal and Romain Saïss (even if the latter is slightly injured). Both were born in France.
Possible XI France
Lloris (GK) — 5. Kounde, 4. Varane, 18. Upamecano, 22. T. Hernandez — 8. Tchouameni, 7. Griezmann, 14. Rabiot — 11. Dembele, 9. Giroud, 10. Mbappe
Possible XI Morocco
Bounou – Hakimi, Yamiq, Dari/Saiss, Mazraoui – Amrabat, Ounahi, Amallah – Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal.