Prediction of Morocco vs Portugal in the Top 8 of the 2022 World Cup, Efforts to Make History

10 Dec 2022

The second quarter-final duel in the 2022 World Cup will be presented between Morocco vs Portugal on Saturday night, 9 December 2022 at the At Thumama Stadium. Not only will they win one place in the semifinals, the two teams are also making their own history.

The coach of the Moroccan national team, Walid Reragui, stated that his team started this tournament with the status of a dark horse, but instead have proven themselves to be true challengers who are hungry for victory. If they win in this match at the Al Thumama Stadium, then Morocco will become the first African team to reach the last four and at the same time the first Arab country to advance to the last eight.

"We have achieved great things but we feel we are not enough. We want to go further," Reragugui said. "We have proved all the data analysts wrong about our chances against Belgium and also Spain. They all thought we would lose against them."

Morocco finished top of their group after drawing against Croatia and beating Belgium and Canada before beating Spain on penalties in the last 16.

However, their long journey will come at a cost with the possible absence of Nayef Aguerd due to a hamstring injury. Captain Romain Saiss and Sofyan Amrabat, who are hard-working players in the middle, are also in danger of being sidelined due to injury.

"We will not hide the fact that we are exhausted," said Reragugui. "But when you've come this far in these kind of tournaments you have to count on everyone in the squad. So, if Nayef cannot play, then someone else is ready to replace him."

Meanwhile, the Portugal national team is trying to improve its performance in the World Cup tournament. Of the seven appearances in this four-year tournament, Portugal's best achievement was only third place at the 1986 World Cup.

On the other hand, the Portugal squad will enter the arena with their eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo. In the previous match, many people questioned coach Fernando Santo's decision to bench Ronaldo in the match against Switzerland. However, the response given is quite interesting.

He even invited people to remember Portugal's match against Morocco in the 2018 World Cup when Ronaldo scored a 1-0 winner. "Morocco is a very strong team, even when in an attacking position. To think that this match will be easy for you, is really wrong," said Santos.

He asked the players to play happily and without burden. "Because it's clearly not enough just to be a competitive team," he said.

Portugal played brilliantly without Cristiano Ronaldo as they thrashed Switzerland 6-1 after showing inconsistencies during the group stage. Without Ronaldo sitting on the bench, Portugal has shown they can improve and make the team more dynamic and fluid.

Statistics of Morocco and Portugal

- Prior to this match the two teams had met twice in the World Cup finals. Morocco won 3-1 in the 1986 edition of the group stage. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal in Portugal's 1-0 win four years ago in Russia.

- Morocco is the first Arab country to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup and the fourth African team to reach this stage after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

- Coach Walid Reragui became the first Arab manager to lead his team to the knockout stages.

- Portugal's Goncalo Ramos is so far the only player to score a hat-trick at the 2022 World Cup as Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 in the last 16. He became the first player to score a hat-trick in his first World Cup appearance since Miroslav Klose with Germany in the 2002 edition.

- Morocco have conceded only one goal so far during the 2022 World Cup when defender Nayef Aguerd scored an own goal in a 2-1 win against Canada in the group stages.

Player lineup predictions

Morocco (4-3-3): Yassine Bounou; Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd, Noussair Mazraoui; Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat, Selim Amallah; Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri, Sofiane Boufal

Portugal (4-3-3): Diogo Costa; Diogo Dalot, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Raphael Guerreiro; Bernardo Silva, William Carvalho, Otavio; Bruno Fernandes, Goncalo Ramos, Joao Felix

Morocco vs Portugal prediction

If the Portugal national team can appear solid, it is possible that the match will be won by them. The reason is, the Moroccan national team is facing an unfavorable situation in terms of squad depth. On the other hand, Portugal has a midfielder who is more creative and experienced than Spain. Therefore, the battle in the midfield will be key in this 2022 World Cup quarter-final match.


No comments yet.