France vs Morocco
Date: 14 Dec 2022 (Wednesday)
Time: 10 p.m. (Qatar time, GMT +3)
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium
France is eager to become the first back-to-back World Cup champion in the last 40 years, while Morocco, the first African country in history to advance to a World Cup semifinal, will try to write the next chapter of its Cinderella story in Qatar.
France suffered no new injuries or suspensions during the quarterfinal, meaning that Didier Deschamps can field the same lineup in this match. Olivier Giroud, who became France’s all-time record goal-scorer with 53 when he scored against England in the quarterfinals, is expected to start the match at the point of the French spear, with Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé making up the rest of the attacking frontline. Real Madrid rising star Aurélien Tchouaméni will partner with box-to-box Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, providing protection to Dayot Upamecano and Raphaël Varane in the center of defense. Theo Hernández and Jules Koundé will start as left and right backs while captain Hugo Lloris, who officially became the most-capped French international ever in the quarterfinal against England, will continue to line up between the sticks.
On the other hand, several Moroccan players are injured, especially from the defensive line that so far has conceded only a single goal in this tournament (and it was an own-goal at that). Central defender Nayef Aguerd missed the quarterfinal after picking up a hamstring injury in the Round of 16 against Spain. His partner and team captain Romain Saiss surprised everyone by featuring against Portugal, as he was known to be struggling with a hamstring issue, but he ultimately left that match on a stretcher. Badr Benoun will be his replacement in case he cannot pass fit for this match. Happily, another absentee from the victory against Portugal, Noussair Mazraoui, is expected to be available for the semifinal, but Yahia Attiyat Allah will be on standby for him in the left back position just in case. Substitute forward Walid Cheddira picked up a red card against Portugal meaning he will be banned from this semifinal.
Prediction: France 4-1 Morocco
France (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud.
Morocco (4-3-3): Bounou; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Benoun, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal.
Confirmed lineups will be available about an hour before the substitution deadline. so be sure to check in here to see who starts before making transfers and subs for today.
I’ll leave you with an interesting side note. The economies of both of these countries are heavily interconnected. France has been Morocco’s largest foreign investor for most of the the last decade, except for a brief period earlier July of this year when France was superseded by the USA. But in the second half of 2022 France again overtook the United States to re-establish itself as Morocco’s #1 source of foreign investment, accounting for fully 40% of it.
Keep in mind that we’re now in the final week of the World Cup, so be sure to bookmark our website (www.nevermanagealone.com) for our “bread and butter” content: fantasy Premier League and fantasy Champions League. The EPL starts up again in just two weeks, and we’ll start getting you ready for it as soon as the World Cup ends!
Who will shine in Day 2 of Semifinals? Can Morocco pull off yet another upset, this time of reigning champion France? Will Morocco make history by becoming the first African nation to qualify to a FIFA World Cup Final? Please log in and join us in the live chat!
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