Portugal vs Morocco (Football World Cup 2022)

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10 Dec 2022

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The Football World Cup 2022 has had many shocks, upsets, and joyous moments in past fixtures. As many teams advance to the quarter-finals, let’s take an analyzed look at the upcoming fixture between Portugal vs Morocco.

On Friday 9th December, Croatia beat Brazil in a tough§ and tense match. Brazil scored in the first extra half with a beautiful solo goal by Neymar, exchanging passes with his teammate before smashing it into the goal. Brazil thought this was the end; however, Croatia refused to accept their fate. Bruno sent it home, scoring an equalizer in extra time. It was pretty obvious that the game would go to penalties. Croatia’s goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic performed heroically, making eleven saves throughout the match and stopping one penalty in the shoot-out. Meanwhile, Alisson could not save any shots in the game, leading to Croatia advancing to the semifinals with Argentina.

The match was tied at 2-2 with the Netherlands. Messi and Molina scored in the game, and Weghrost scored a brace. Denzel Dumfries received a red card after losing his mind as the Argentines won the shootout and advanced.

On Saturday, Portugal and Morocco will go head to head in the quarterfinals, and one will advance to the semi-finals. Morocco surprised the football world by being the only Arab/African/Muslim team to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Moreover, they have only conceded one goal in their previous matches, an own goal. They have beaten Belgium, Canada, and Spain, and drawn with Croatia in their previous matches.

This match is unpredictable, as Portugal’s performance against Switzerland proved that they can be decisive in their upcoming fixtures.

One of the most discussed topics is whether or not Ronaldo will play or start the match. Gonçalo Ramos’ performance against Switzerland, and his brilliant hat-trick, has left Portugal’s coach in a very difficult situation. Even if Ronaldo doesn’t start, he will have his time to shine on the pitch, considering this is his second quarter-final in his glittering career.

While many say they played better without Ronaldo, and it is agreed that they played more freely, Ronaldo has carried his team for the past decade or so. Portugal have decided to take matters into their own hands and perform better as a team, not depending solely on the Portuguese mastermind.

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Additionally, Kane’s ability to drop deep and link up play could also prove invaluable to Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech. These two players have both struggled in front of goal this season.

Our predictions:

We expect Ronaldo’s Portugal to win, even though it will be a tough match. This is stated by Portugal’s coach for both teams. Portugal has a 40% chance of winning while Morocco has a 30% chance to win before extra time and a 30% chance of the game proceeding to penalties. Bono has proved to be a very competent goalkeeper in the tournament but Portugal has very talented shooters as well. It will be a tough match for both sides.

Portugal’s Expected Starting Lineup:

Cristiano Ronaldo may start this one from the bench after his replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick against Switzerland. Last time out, Joao Cancelo was benched, with Raphael Guerreiro and Diogo Dalot being favoured at fullback.

Portugal’s projected lineup (4-3-3): 22. Costa (GK) — 2. Dalot, 3. Pepe, 4. Dias, 5. GuerreIro — 25. Otavio, 14. Carvalho, 10. Silva — 8. Fernandes, 26. Ramos, 11. Felix

Morocco’s Projected Starting Lineup:

After playing to extra time and penalties last time out against Spain, Morocco’s starting XI will largely depend on how players recover.

If possible, coach Walid Regragui will likely stick to the players who got the job done in the Round of 16 with no injuries or suspensions to speak of.

Morocco’s projected lineup (4-3-3): 1. Bono (GK) — 2. Hakimi, 5. Aguerd, 6. Saiss, 3. Mazraoui — 8. Ounahi, 4. Amrabat, 15. Amallah — 7. Ziyech, 19. En-Nesyri, 17. Boufal

May The Best Team Win!!!

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