It is a do-or-die for France and Morocco in the competition. Both sides know they must win this match to advance to the competition’s finals.
For Morocco, it is the ultimate dream for an African nation and predominantly Arab, while for France, it will be possible to win the competition back to back. But who is playing for both teams? Who will make the starting eleven?
The Atlas Lions and the dream of a continent
It seems that after Argentina vs. Netherlands game, half the world is cheering for Croatia to beat the South Americans. The negativity surrounding their celebrations has not sat well. But with that, the other half of the globe is cheering for the competition’s underdogs. A Cinderella story waiting to be told in years to come, and if they reach the final, Hollywood will be lining up actors to see who plays Bono, Amrabat, and company.
Walid Cheddira, a 24-year-old striker from Morocco, was banned from the semi-final after receiving two yellow cards against Portugal.
West Ham United’s Aguerd missed the quarter-final victory over Portugal after incurring an adductor injury against France in the last 16. Still, Regragui will do everything to get him back after Romain Saiss was stretchered out on Saturday with a hamstring injury.
Saiss has said he would do all in his power to be ready for the semi-final, where Mazraoui might return from a hip flexor injury, and Hakim Ziyech will hope to be well after being forced out over the weekend.
Regragui may rest comfortably after seeing Yahia Attiyat Allah and Jawad El Yamiq’s resolute efforts against Portugal, and at least one of the trio should be needed here.
France will look to reach the final twice in a row
France enters the last four without any new injuries or suspension issues. At this stage, Jules Kounde has replaced Benjamin Pavard at right-back, while Theo Hernandez has performed well in the absence of his brother Lucas Hernandez, who tore his ACL in their first encounter against Australia.
France’s all-time top male goalscorer Giroud may become the oldest player to score five World Cup goals if he scores here, and although Kylian Mbappe was kept quiet by England, Les Bleus have won all 10 World Cup games in which the 23-year-old has started.
France vs Morocco: Predicted Starting 11s
France (4-3-3): Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
Morocco (4-3-3): Bono; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Aguerd, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal