France vs. Morocco: World Cup 2022 Match Preview

Talk of the alleged “holders’ curse” and Didier Deschamps’ uncertain future dominated France’s World Cup build-up.

A few weeks later, Les Bleus are poised to become the first defending champions to go to the World Cup final since Brazil in 1998. Italy’s 1938 accomplishment is the last time a European country accomplished this feat.

Injuries to key players hindered Deschamps’ preparations, but France’s ruthlessness moving forward spurred another long run in the tournament after defeating England in the quarterfinals despite being, in some ways, the worse team.

France head into Wednesday’s semi-final at Al Bayt Stadium against Morocco as overwhelming favourites.

It will be the eighth World Cup semi-final for the reigning champions. Each one they’ve fought since, in 1998, 2006, and 2018, has concluded with French celebrations after they lost their first three.

Given that the last three champions, Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014, and Germany in 2018, all lost in the group stage, Deschamps is happy that France has escaped disgrace, but they still have goals to achieve.

“We can trust in ourselves since we’ve advanced to the semifinals, which is closer to the final; nonetheless, we have a crucial game on Wednesday,” he remarked.

“While we still want to do more, we can be happy with what we’ve accomplished so far.” The world champions haven’t always performed well in the past.

Griezmann has had a significant influence and Morocco has to find a method to keep him quiet since Kylian Mbappe and Giroud are taking up much of the attention for France.

The Atletico Madrid player was instrumental in helping France win over England in the quarterfinals and assisted in both goals, giving him eight goals in his last eight World Cup appearances.

The French star has generated 17 opportunities for teammates, which is a tournament-high, and has the highest predicted assist total (2.94) in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Again, Morocco won’t likely possess the majority of the ball, but the aggressiveness of players like Azzedine Ounahi and Rafiq Amrabat in the middle of the field might be crucial, especially given how important Griezmann is in his new midfield position.

Ounahi perhaps outperforms Amrabat in terms of elegance, but Amrabat ranks fourth among midfielders at the World Cup with eight successful tackles, and his 41 recoveries, which are a tournament high, show off his keen eye for the game. He is really valuable.

Deschamps’ team has a 64.3% chance of winning this world cup match in regular time.

Of course, Morocco has already beaten the odds by making it this far, albeit its 13% chance of winning has decreased from 18.8% before the Portugal game.