France vs Morocco
Can Africa’s first-ever World Cup semi-finalists become the continent’s first-ever finalists, or will France move on step closer to retaining their trophy?
On Saturday, Morocco made history, becoming the first African, as well as the first Arabic, nation to reach the last four.
Youssef En-Nesyri’s amazing towering header enough to see the Atlas Lions beat Portugal 1-0 at Al-Thumama Stadium.
Walid Regragui had already become the first African coach to reach the last eight, but is continuing to rewrite the record books, despite only taking over 105 days ago.
His team have conceded just one goal at this tournament, and this was an own goal by Nayef Aguerd in a victory over Canada.
So, France will have to be at their brilliant best if they’re to feature in a fourth World Cup Final on Sunday.
Les Bleus edged-out England at the weekend, thanks to Aurélien Tchouaméni’s rocket and then Olivier Giroud’s late header, getting on the end of Antoine Griezmann’s inch-perfect cross.
Under Didier Deschamps, they’ve now won 12 of 15 tournament knockout games, only eliminated once in 90 minutes in a decade.
Given all of that, don’t expect France to cruise though this one, but they’re still firm favourites get through.
Secondary tip of the day
0-0 at half time- 11/8!
Get 11/8 on France vs Morocco to be 0-0 at half time.
The 16 World Cup semi-finals played since Mexico ‘86 have produced a measly 36 goals, a figure that falls to 28, 1.75 goals per game, if Germany’s demolition of Brazil is excluded.
Ten of these matches have been goalless at the break, so backing a goalless draw at half time priced at 11/8 could represent good value.
Furthermore, at this tournament, three of Morocco’s five matches have been goalless at the interval, two of which ended scoreless.
Meanwhile, France’s last four first halves have produced just two goals, scored by Olivier Giroud against Poland and Aurélien Tchouaméni on Saturday.
Goalscorer tip of the day
Kylian Mbappé to score first- 3/1!
Get 3/1 on Kylian Mbappé to be the first goalscorer.
No opposition player has managed to score past Yassine Bounou at this tournament yet, and that includes his team’s shootout victory over Spain, prevailing 3-0.
However, if there’s one man on the planet right now likely to change that, it’s surely be Kylian Mbappé.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward has scored five times at this tournament, meaning he’s on course for the golden boot, taking his World Cup tally to nine.
So, back Mbappé to score first in this huge semi-final at Al-Bayt Stadium.