Established the second semi-final of the Qatar World Cup. France will take on Morocco, after the 2018 champions beat England 2-1 and the African side beat Portugal 1-0. France will certainly be the favourites, but Morocco is hoping for another gigantic massacre.
When it’s France vs Morocco
This is the second of the semifinals. It’s Wednesday December 14, at Al Bayt Stadium. The first semi-final is the day before at Lusail Stadium.
What time is kick-off?
Perfectly timed for the UK crowd, the match kicks off at 7.00pm.
What TV channel is it on?
This has yet to be discussed between ITV and the BBC, but in any case the contest will be shown on free-to-air television in the UK.
How has France fared so far?
Despite numerous injuries, Les Bleus have looked strong in their attempt to defend their title. Kylian Mbappé has terrorized defences, scoring five goals so far in the tournament, two more than his closest opponents for the Golden Boot.
The only slippage was a 1-0 defeat by Tunisia in their final group match, but Didier Deschamps fielded a B team for that match as Les Bleus had already qualified.
They were convincing in their 3-1 round of 16 win against Poland and fought well to beat England 2-1 in the quarter-finals.
What does France say?
Manager Didier Deschamps said after the match: “We are getting to the semi-finals. We are closer to the final and that was an important result tonight and we can believe it, but we have an important game on Wednesday.
“In the past, world champions have not always done well at the next World Cup and we have succeeded.”
How has Morocco fared so far?
The African side finished first in Group F after beating Belgium and Canada and drew goalless with Croatia. The round of 16 clash saw Morocco celebrate a historic World Cup win against Spain. They beat Luis Enrique’s side 3-1 on penalties after neither side managed to score in regular and extra time. They then earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Portugal to become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals.
What is the history of the results of France and Morocco?
The sides have met 11 times previously, with Morocco winning once and France seven times. Three matches ended in a draw. They have never met in a major tournament and their last meeting was a 2-2 draw in an international friendly in 2007.
What is France’s record at the World Cup?
France are the defending champions having prevailed in Russia. They also won at home in 1998. In 2006 they finished as runners-up in Germany, losing on penalties to Italy after Zinedine Zidane’s infamous header from Marco Materazzi. Only two countries, Italy and Brazil, have recorded back-to-back World Cup victories.
What is Morocco’s record at the World Cup?
The African team has qualified for the World Cup on six occasions, but had never progressed beyond the last 16 until this tournament.
Latest team news
Moroccan captain Romain Saiss says he will “give everything” to be fit against France on Wednesday after being stretchered off in the 57th minute of the win against Portugal.
Morocco had previously lost their central defensive partner, Nayef Aguerd, to an injury sustained in their round of 16 shoot-out win against Spain. Saiss, who now plays for Turkish Besiktas, said “I’ll try, I don’t know” when asked if he will be fit.
“We’ll see tomorrow, we’ll do tests to see what kind of injury I have,” he added. “But I’ll do my best to be on the pitch. I hope everything will be fine.”
France have no players suspended for the semi-final and appear not to have been injured in their match against England, where they called up the same starting XI for the second successive game.
France to win: 1/2
Winning Morocco: 2/13