Morocco vs Portugal - World Cup quarter-final: Team news, lineups & prediction

Grey Whitebloom
Hakim Ziyech's Morocco are looking to down Bruno Fernandes' Portugal
Hakim Ziyech's Morocco are looking to down Bruno Fernandes' Portugal / Khalil Bashar/Jam Media | Michael Steele/Getty Images
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Morocco line up against Portugal on Saturday afternoon for their first-ever World Cup quarter-final.

The Atlas Lions refused to be hypnotised by Spain's thousand passes, denying La Roja a goal in normal time, extra time or even the penalty shootout.

If Morocco's second-round success (and their whole tournament) was defined by defensive resolve, Portugal laid waste to Switzerland with a newfound attacking fluency discovered in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Here's everything you need to know about the meeting between these two nations with contrasting strengths.


Where are 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

Morocco vs Portugal H2H Results (All Time)

  • Morocco: 1 Win
  • Portugal: 1 Win
  • Draws: 0

Current Form (Last Five Games)

  • Morocco: WDWWW
  • Portugal: WWWLW

Morocco team news

Over the course of two hours of energy-sapping football against Spain, Morocco's historic victory may have come at a price. Nayef Aguerd was forced off with a muscular complaint in the final exchanges of normal time. His centre-back partner, Romain Saiss, didn't leave the pitch but required lengthy treatment to his thigh.

Both fullbacks - Achraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui - have been carrying knocks through the tournament before recovering to feature while Sofyan Amrabat shook off a back problem to star against Spain.


Morocco predicted lineup vs Portugal

Morocco Starting 11 (4-3-3): Bounou; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Benoun, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal.
Bench: Munir, Tagnaouti, Dari, Allah, Jabrane, Sabiri, El Khannouss, Abde, Zaroury, Aboukhlal, Cheddira, Hamdallah.


Portugal team news

Danilo Pereira has been stuck on the sidelines with his PSG teammate Nuno Mendes since damaging his ribs in training. Mendes was ruled out of the World Cup with a hamstring injury last month and Pereira is continuing his recovery.

Cristiano Ronaldo is chomping at the bit as he bids to return to the starting lineup, but it may be another watching brief from the start for the 37-year-old.


Portugal predicted lineup vs Morocco

Portugal Starting 11 (4-3-3): Costa; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Otavio, Carvalho, Bernardo; Fernandes, Ramos, Felix.
Bench: Patricio, Sa, Antonio Silva, Cancelo, Neves, Palhinha, Nunes, Vitinha, Mario, Horta, Leao, Ronaldo, Andre Silva.


Morocco vs Portugal betting tips

Goncalo Ramos
It's hard to see Portugal dropping Goncalo Ramos after his hat-trick / Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Team to win/progress

Portugal to win by exactly one goal – Six of Morocco’s last seven World Cup defeats have come by a single goal margin, while Portugal have won five of their last seven games in all competitions.


Portugal to progress – Before the 2022 tournament, only three African sides had reached the World Cup quarter final, with all three failing to progress to the semis.


Morocco to win/draw – Morocco are unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions (W6 D3).


Score to be 0-0 after extra-time – Three of Morocco’s last six games in all competitions have finished goalless, including last time out against Spain.


Goals

Morocco clean sheet – Morocco have kept seven clean sheets in their last eight games in all
competitions, conceding just a single goal in their four World Cup matches so far.


Portugal clean sheet – Of teams through to the quarter finals, Morocco have scored the fewest goals (4), have the lowest expected goals (3.1), had the fewest shots on target (10), made the fewest touches in the opposition’s box (41) and averaged the lowest possession (32.3%).


Portugal over 2.5 goals – Portugal have scored 12 goals in four games at the 2022 World Cup (3 per
game over average), only netting more in a single tournament back in 1966 (17).


Under 2.5 total match goals – Six of Morocco’s last eight games in all competitions have seen two or
fewer goals.

Under 2.5 total match goals is currently 4/6*



Anytime scorers

Bruno Fernandes goal or assist – Before the start of the quarter finals, only Kylian Mbappe (7) has
been involved in more goals at the 2022 World Cup than Fernandes (5), while he’s either scored or assisted in each of his last four internationals.


Hakim Ziyech goal or assist – Hakim Ziyech has been involved in a third of all Morocco shots at the 2022 World Cup (10/30), leading the team in both shots (6) and chances created (4).


Goncalo Ramos anytime scorer & over two shots on target – Gonçalo Ramos has scored seven goals in his last four starts for club and country, registering five shots on target last time out against Switzerland.

Goncalo Ramos to score anytime for Portugal is currently 9/4*


Insights courtesy of Opta. Head to The Analyst Stats Hub for live group stage standings, top scores, match metrics, team stats and much more!

*Odds correct at time of publication. 18+. Please gamble responsibly. BeGambleAware.org


Morocco vs Portugal score prediction

Yassine Bounou was the hero against Spain after saving two penalties in the shootout but he hasn't been overworked in open play. Only two nations at the World Cup have conceded fewer shots on target than miserly Morocco.

Portugal were frighteningly ruthless going forward against the Swiss but it was an attacking display out of keeping with their tournament thus far - Portugal scored as many goals against Switzerland as they had mustered across the entire group stage.

Fernando Santos explained Ronaldo's absence by reasoning that he "wanted a team that played with a lot of fluidity.” The European Championship winner certainly got that in a display which could cause this revered - but possibly weakened - Morocco rearguard plenty of problems.

Prediction: Morocco 1-2 Portugal


Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Sean Walsh, Ali Rampling and Brian Goldfarb to look back on the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil - join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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