Morocco aim to continue their ambitious dream of becoming the first-ever African side to win the World Cup, but they’ll have to past defending champions France to do that. See Last Word on Football’s Morocco predicted lineup vs France for their World Cup semi-final clash.
Morocco Predicted Lineup vs France
How Morocco Have Lined-up Recently
The story of the Morocco national at the Qatar World Cup has been one for the ages. They have done something no other African team before them have been able to do, which is progressing to the semi-finals. Wahid Regregui’s side has not only exceeded expectations, but have blown them out of the water.
While there has been a change in players all through the World Cup games, mostly due to injury issues, Morocco have still maintained an unbelievable run of just grinding out wins. Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou has, of course, played a huge role in their success and kept four clean sheets in just five games.
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Their captain Romain Saiss has been a warrior at the back, structuring his backline to be extremely stubborn and hard to break down. Achraf Hakimi’s been a revelation with his amazing defensive skillset and added creativity with his attacking contribution. In midfield, Sofyan Amrabat has been acting as a protector of his backline – making tough challenges to win back possession and also stop attacking moves from originating.
Morocco have maintained a pretty stead-fast attacking trio of Hakim Ziyech, Sofiane Boufal and Youssef El-Nesyri. Ziyech has been tormenting defenders with his crosses, Boufal with his dribbling and El-Nesyri’s been a threat with his aerial prowess and finishing ability in the box. These key players will all start against France and need to bring their very best to the table to keep their fairytale journey going on.
Morocco Recent Form
Morocco have proven themselves as the giant killers of the Qatar World Cup and ended the dreams of many of the ‘favorites’ in the competition. They headed into the competition having played 13 games in 2022, out of which they won eight.
But when the pressure rose to the highest at the World Cup, they did not buckle. Instead, Morocco only thrived under it and were able to top their group after defeating Canada and Belgium. To their tough luck, a bout against Spain was set up in the Round of 16. However, they showed impressive resolve to hold out the Spanish attack and force the game to a penalty shoot-out, where Bono’s heroics helped them win.
In the quarter-finals, they faced an in-form Portugal side that won 6-1 in their own Round of 16 game against Switzerland. But Morocco were able to keep a clean sheet against that same side, picking up a narrow 1-0 win to book a place for themselves in the semi-finals.
Regragui’s men have shown incredible character in their playing style. They have been well aware of their underdog tags heading into almost every World Cup game, but they seem to have used that to their advantage. The fact that Morocco have conceded just one goal in their five World Cup games, the least conceded by any side in the competition so far, is truly incredible.
That itself is the perfect example of how mean and rigid their defensive sturdiness has been. Regragui has been brave by playing a four-man backline all through the World Cup, irrespective of the opponent they faced. Amrabat has done a pretty solid job at tucking in and acting as an auxiliary centre-back, while the full-backs have played quite deep too.
Parking the bus isn’t as easy as it seems. But Morocco have perfected the formula to grind out one clean sheet after another. They have shown an incredible amount of energy in their matches, pressing the opposition players in their box and making it tough for them to get shots on goal or passes into the final third.
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Morocco have been quite efficient in breaking through the lines after recovering possession too. Ziyech and Boufal have been troublesome with their rapid movement in counter-attacks, with the former also being a menace with his crosses and set-piece delivery. Ziyech’s excellent crosses, along with Morocco’s physical players’ aerial abilities have mixed well to help them pose a threat in set-pieces.
El-Nesyri has been the perfect target man, with his hold-up play and sneaky work in the box giving an extra dimension to their attack. The forward scored an amazing winner against Portugal, leaping 2.7m in the air to score the header. He’ll need to be just as big a menace against the French defenders and look to get ahead of them to convert the crosses whipped into the box.
But Morocco needs to focus on maintaining unbreakable concentration levels and be defensively impenetrable against France. Hakimi has to use his experience to school fellow PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, while the other defenders need to focus on keeping the likes of Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele quiet. If they can keep another clean sheet, Morocco’s chances of winning the tie (be it in normal time or beyond that) will be greatly increased – as they need to channel the spirit and support of their fans to grind out another remarkable result.
Morocco Injuries to Consider
Morocco will be without forward Walid Cheddira, who was sent off against Portugal. Their centre-back Nayef Aguerd is also a major doubt as he recovers from injury, while Saiss also suffered a knock in the last game that puts some doubt over his availability. Full-back Noussair Mazraoui, however, should be back for this game.
Morocco Predicted Lineup vs France
Yassine Bounou; Achraf Hakimi, Jawad El Yamiq, Romain Saiss, Noussair Mazraoui; Sofyan Amrabat, Azzedine Ounahi, Selim Amallah; Hakim Ziyech, Sofiane Boufal, Youssef En-Nesyri