On Saturday afternoon, the African side takes the field against the European side in what will be their first-ever World Cup quarterfinal.

Spain‘s thousand passes were met with resistance from the Atlas Lions, who prevented La Roja from scoring during regulation play, extra time, or even the shootout.

Portugal destroyed Switzerland with a newly discovered attacking fluency that was discovered in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence, whilst Morocco‘s second-round success (and their entire tournament) was defined by defensive resolve.

The meeting between these two countries with opposing strengths is covered in detail here.

Where is Morocco vs Portugal playing?

  • Location: Doha, Qatar
  • Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium
  • Date: Saturday 10 December
  • Kick-off Time: 15:00 GMT / 10:00 ET / 07:00 PT

Current Form (Last Five Games)

  • Morocco: WDWWW
  • Portugal: WWWLW

Players to watch

Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi’s play throughout the event has been nothing short of brilliant. His partnership with Ziyech on the right wing has been a major source of frustration for opponents. He is a valuable member of the offence and also a solid defender.

Goncalo Ramos

Before Portugal’s 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland on Tuesday, which advanced them to the World Cup quarterfinals, few people had heard of striker Goncalo Ramos. However, after he recorded a hat trick and an assist, Ramos ensured that his name would never be forgotten by Portuguese fans.

Fernando Santos made the courageous decision, which turned out to be a coaching masterstroke, to start the 21-year-old striker with the nickname “the Sorcerer” instead of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

Team News

It’s possible that Morocco’s historic victory against Spain came at a cost during the two hours of draining play. In the final exchanges of standard time, Nayef Aguerd was compelled to leave due to a muscular ailment. Romain Saiss, his center-back teammate, didn’t leave the field but needed extensive thigh treatment.

Achraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui, both fullbacks, had been dealing with injuries throughout the tournament before returning to play, and Sofyan Amrabat overcame a back injury to shine against Spain.

However for Portugal, Since breaking his ribs in practice, Danilo Pereira and Nuno Mendes have been forced to watch from the sidelines. With a hamstring injury last month, Mendes was forced to withdraw from the World Cup, while Pereira is still recovering.

Head to head record

Played: 2

Portugal: 1

Draws; 0

Morocco: 1

Predicted lineups

Portugal predicted lineup (4-3-3): 

Costa; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Otavio, Carvalho; Bernardo, Fernandes, Ramos, Felix.

[Total_Soft_Poll id=”5″]

Morocco predicted lineup (4-3-3):

 Bounou; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Benoun, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal.

Match Prediction

Could Morocco keep up their swashbuckling play at the World Cup and make it to the semi-finals? The Atlas Lions have every reason to believe that they can beat Portugal. Even though they beat Switzerland very easily, Morocco will be a much tougher test for Portugal, especially at the back. Their courage and strong defence could help them surprise people even more.

Even though Portugal played well against a fellow European country, Switzerland’s defence was all over the place. Regragui’s team will be well-trained and ready to play against Portugal’s great technical skills, but goals shouldn’t come as easily on Saturday.

Still, everyone in the Portuguese camp is feeling confident right now, especially Ramos, who is only 21 years old. Don’t forget that Ronaldo will also be standing by, ready to take his chance if it comes up. He has never won a World Cup, and since this is his last chance, it could be written in the stars that Lionel Messi and Argentina will meet him in the final.

It will be close, but we think Portugal will win in a shootout, which is a bit of a gamble.

Prediction: Morocco 1-1 Portugal, and Portugal won on penalties.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and join our community on Telegram.