11:30 PM: Hello everyone and welcome to Khel Now’s LIVE COVERAGE of the France vs Morocco match in the FIFA World Cup 2022. The kick-off is just an hour away! I’m your host Sayantan, and I’ll be keeping you company through what promises a fascinating evening of football. Please wait for 30 Seconds for the Live blog to load.
An unrelenting France stormed to the semi-finals and resisted rumours of discord, outlasting a spirited England and delivering a rampaging display in all of their matches. France is on the edge of setting a record if they reach the finals, and the country will aim to defend the World Cup with players at the prime of their careers.
Plenty of chances but no finished product
Many people scoffed when Samuel Eto’o predicted that France and Morocco would meet in the semi-finals. This Morocco team has been relentless throughout the tournament, upsetting Belgium, Spain, and Portugal; they now play France, and they are one step closer to making history. With all of the players leaning on one another and putting up a brave effort.
Kick-off: 12:30 am (IST), 7 pm (GMT)
France form (all competition): W-W-L-W-W
Morocco form (all competition): D-W-W-W-W
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Players to watch
He has been the dominant player in the centre of the field and has facilitated France to maintain a steady pattern in high-pressure games. His ball role requires him to establish and grow a strong partnership with players. Griezmann may not have scored in this World Cup, but he has been a critical player in keeping the game running fluently.
For Morocco, Ziyech has evolved into a different player, with a superb game setup and being the major emphasis alongside Hakimi. They both play on the same wing and aid in ball distribution. Ziyech will face a France team that excels at transition and will need to assist Hakimi in limiting Mbappe’s danger.
Also Read: List of players suspended or doubtful for World Cup 2022 semi-finals
Injury and team news
France has no injury issues or suspensions, and Deschamps made just one change against England; hopefully, he will have a powerful eleven capable of breaking down Morocco’s bullheaded defence.
Morocco is beleaguered by injuries, with Noussair Mazraoui and Nayef Aguerd missing the quarter-finals and Romain Saiss forced off. Mazraoui, the Bayern Munich fullback, is suffering from illness and discomfort but will be ready for the Wednesday match. Aguerd also sustained a groin injury but was fit against Portugal but the manager’s decision was not to risk him, while Walid Cheddira is suspended after receiving two yellow cards.
France predicted lineup (4-2-1-3):
Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud.
Morocco predicted lineup (4-3-3):
Bounou; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Benoun, Attiyat Allah; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal.
If France can break through a defence that has only allowed one goal, it will be a turning point in their game. While Morocco will stand back and wait for France to commit a mistake, their pacy players will overwhelm France in a counter-attack. We cannot dismiss a squad that defeated Spain and Portugal; France will learn from it.
This game will be decided entirely by technical ability, positional sense, and counter-play. France is aware of and has players that can penetrate any barrier through their own athleticism.
Prediction: France 2-1 Morocco
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