World Cup Semi Final Preview: France VS Morocco

In possibly the least anticipated World Cup semi final in history, France take on Morocco at the Al Bayt Stadium.

How many ‘potential World Cup underdog’ theories were posited in the build up to and early rounds of the tournament? How many of them mentioned Morocco?

None of them did, because what Morocco have done was unimaginable. Walid Regragrui’s team beat Belgium and Canada and drew with Croatia to top group F.

When they overcame Spain on penalties, they became the first North African team to reach the quarter finals.


Read: Olivier Giroud Is The Hero The World Cup Deserves


That would have been more than enough to whet the appetite of any World Cup upset enthusiast. Morocco have gone one better.

They beat Portugal in regular time to become the first African team ever to reach the World Cup semi final. The way they beat Portugal, though, is what makes it special.

Nobody can say this Morocco team simply defend in numbers, block, tackle and counterattack. Against Portugal they played out from the back, built up in wide areas and switched the play to good effect.

That’s what Premier League teams do. As well as resolute defending this Morocco team has talent and personality that has taken them this far.

Whether they can go any further against France is another question. France are not Croatia, Spain, Belgium or Portugal – they are the defending world champions and for good reason.

While not scintillating, France play effective tournament football and have some of the world’s most established players up front. 


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Young and old, little and large, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud supplemented by Griezmann and Dembele have scored in every game in the tournament so far, bar the group stage dead rubber against Tunisia.

Giroud in particular looks possessed, having become France’s all-time leading scorer with his quarter final winner against England. He will be desperate to get to the final and show Lionel Messi he’s not the only one with a point to prove.

France also play to become the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil in 1958 and 1962. If anyone can spoil their party it’s this Morocco team, but it’s hard to see France letting that happen.