Morocco vs Spain - World Cup: Team news, lineups & prediction

Grey Whitebloom
Morocco qualified for the World Cup knockout rounds for only the second time in the history of the men's national team
Morocco qualified for the World Cup knockout rounds for only the second time in the history of the men's national team / Fantasista/GettyImages

Morocco face Spain on Tuesday afternoon in a World Cup round of 16 tie between two nations from different continents separated by less than ten miles.

A composed and controlled victory against Canada - reflective of their conduct throughout the competition - ensured that Morocco became the first African team to top their World Cup group in the 21st century.

Luis Enrique lamented that his side had been "dismantled" and "collapsed" during the second half of Spain's defeat to Japan. La Roja finished behind Samurai Blue in Group E and spent three second-half minutes out of the competition entirely while Costa Rica briefly led Germany (although Enrique didn't find that out until after the match).

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming knockout tie.

Where are Morocco vs Spain playing?

  • Location: Doha, Qatar
  • Stadium: Education City Stadium
  • Date: Tuesday 6 December
  • Kick-off Time: 15:00 GMT / 10:00 ET / 07:00 PT

Morocco vs Spain H2H Results (All Time)

  • Morocco: 0 Wins
  • Spain: 2 Wins
  • Draws: 1

Current Form (Last Five Games)

  • Morocco: DWDWW
  • Spain: WWWDL

Morocco team news

Yassine Bounou was a late withdrawal from the squad that defeated Belgium 2-0 in Morocco's second group game. The goalkeeper returned against Canada - the country of his birth - unscathed.

Morocco predicted lineup vs Spain

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

Spain team news

Enrique is expected to have a fully fit squad at his disposal ahead of Spain's first knockout tie. The 52-year-old made five changes to the lineup that drew with Germany for their game against Japan. With 20 minutes still to play in that defeat, Enrique had subbed four of the newcomers for the players they initially replaced.

Spain predicted lineup vs Morocco

Spain Starting 11 (4-3-3): Simon; Carvajal, Rodri, Laporte, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Gavi; F Torres, Morata, Olmo.
Bench: Sanchez, Raya, P Torres, Garcia, Balde, Azpilicueta, Guillamon, Llorente, Koke, Soler, Fati, Williams, Pino, Sarabia, Asensio.

Morocco vs Spain betting tips

Spain to win to nil – Spain’s last seven wins at the World Cup have all come with a clean sheet.

Morocco to score 2+ goals and win – Morocco have scored 2+ goals in all four of their victories at the World Cup and have scored exactly twice in three of their last four World Cup games.

Spain to score first – Spain have scored first in 13 of their last 16 matches at the World Cup, including all three group stage matches at this year’s tournament.

Over 2.5 match goals – There’s been over 2.5 goals in six of Spain’s last 10 World Cup matches and the most recent meeting between Morocco and Spain ended 2-2 in 2018.

Over 2.5 match goals is currently 6/5*

First goalscorer – Álvaro Morata has opened the scoring in each of Spain’s last two World Cup matches, with only Fernando Hierro (3) and David Villa (6) scoring the opening goals in more matches at the World Cup for Spain.

To score or assist – Hakim Ziyech is the only Morocco player to have both scored and assisted at the 2022 World Cup (1 goal, 1 assist). He’s also had the most shots (6) and created the most chances (4) of any Moroccan.

Anytime goalscorer – Álvaro Morata has scored in his last four appearances for Spain, scoring four goals, and has netted three goals from six shots attempted at the 2022 World Cup.

Alvaro Morata to score for Spain anytime is currently 6/4*

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.

Morocco vs Spain score prediction

No opposition player has scored against Morocco since Walid Regragui took charge back in August. Even under his predecessor Vahid Halilhodzic, Morocco conceded just once in World Cup qualifying.

Spain have looked at their most vulnerable this tournament when put under pressure. Germany got a point from this approach but Japan perhaps laid the blueprint for Morocco with a targeted press; resting in a compact shape before picking their moments to pounce. Morocco - as the only side in Qatar to have scored as many as two goals from high turnovers - can replicate this tactic.

If Enrique's side hit top gear, their status as favourites will be well-earned. However, they could struggle to break down this obviously obdurate opponent who will have a boisterous travelling contingent roaring them on.

Prediction: Morocco 0-1 Spain

Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Toby Cudworth & La Liga TV presenter Semra Hunter to look back on the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa - join us!

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