Sports

France vs Morocco: Key factors in the FIFA World Cup semi-final


Defending World Cup champions France face Africa’s first-ever semi-finalist Morocco in the final quarter-final on Wednesday in Qatar. AFP Sport looks at some of the game’s keys.

Solid Morocco

Morocco have conceded just one goal in the entire tournament – own goal in a 2-1 win over Canada in the group stage – while Croatia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal have all failed to break through the defence. sure.

But France boasts many targeted threats. Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud scored nine goals between them and Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann It will also raise many questions.

Morocco has some fitness concerns at the back – centre-back Nayef Aguerd missed the match against Portugal because of a muscle injury and his regular partner, Romain Saisswas replaced due to recurrent hamstring injury.

Anyone Walid Regragui can send will have to be fully turned on – France has shown England that even with Mbappe disabled there are plenty of other sources of danger.

France is wary of counterattacks

It is likely that France will hold the ball a lot in the Moroccan field, but they will have to watch out for quick counter-attacks.

The Moroccan style is direct and while they tend to focus on the flanks, with Hakim Ziyech on the right and Sofiane Boufal on the left, they can also pass a long pass to striker Youssef En-Nesyri and then jump in to assist.

France full-backs Jules Kounde and Theo Hernandez can expect a busy night, while Morocco will be looking to capitalize on any slip by centre-back Dayot Upamecano, who had some shaky moments. tremble in front of him.

“We are well aware of their quality, even if they don’t usually have the ball,” said Kounde. “They are very effective with the ball, they try to coordinate quickly and find their wingers.”

Does Morocco have legs?

Morocco put a lot of effort into the wins against Spain and Portugal and with several players injured, Wednesday’s game will be the real test of their endurance and fitness. surname.

The match against Spain turned to a penalty shootout while they faced a frenetic second half against Portugal.

In contrast, France was able to take on the knockouts without extra time and should be much fresher.

Didier Deschamps’ men will seek to exploit their physical advantage by making Morocco struggle without the ball, shifting play and forcing Regragui’s side to chase the ball, especially in the early stages.

The lion roared

France have fewer injury concerns and more offensive weapons but Morocco will have crowds behind them at Al Bayt Stadium, urging them to make another nasty showdown.

Team Africa, known as the Atlas Lions, is one of the best supported teams in Qatar and they will benefit from massive backing on Wednesday as the first Arab team to reach the top. into the semi-finals of the World Cup.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from an aggregated feed.)

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