Morocco looks to make history when they take on Portugal in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.
The African side are bidding to become the first team from their continent to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup and will be backed to make another impact after eliminating Spain in the round of 16 on penalties.
Portugal thrived without star captain Cristiano Ronaldo with Goncalo Ramos scoring the tournament’s first hat-trick in a 6-1 win against Switzerland last time out.
The winner of this clash will play on Wednesday against the winner of Saturday’s second quarter-final between England and France. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this quarterfinal clash.
When is Morocco vs Portugal?
The game is scheduled to kick off at 3pm GMT (6pm local time) on Saturday, December 10.
The quarterfinals will be played at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.
How can I see it?
In the UK, the match will be broadcast live on ITV 1 and streamed live on the broadcaster’s new ITVX app and website, formerly known as ITV Hub.
Morocco boss Walid Regragui has led his country to this stage by being consistent with his line-up, so Selim Amallah should continue ahead of Abdelhamid Sabiri in midfield. Other than that, no injury problems were reported after the penalty shootout win against Spain, although the issue of fatigue could force Regragui’s hand.
Unsurprisingly, the big selection decision for Portugal manager Fernando Santos is whether to leave out captain Cristiano Ronaldo again. Judging by his replacement Goncalo Ramos’ sensational hat-trick against Switzerland, the 195-capped star could miss out once again. Similarly, will he leave out Joao Cancelo and Ruben Neves, and opt once more for Raphael Guerreiro and William Carvalho respectively? Defender Danilo Pereira is doubtful, while Otavio emerged unscathed from the Swiss clash.
Morocco XI: bond; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Amrabat, Amallah, Ounahi; Ziech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Portugal XI: Coast; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerrero; Neves, Octavio; Silva, Fernandes, Felix; branch offices
Morocco – 9/2
Portugal – 4/6
Draw (only after 90 minutes) – 10/27
It’s not as simple a decision as it is on paper, given Morocco’s emotional run to the quarterfinals. Portugal only narrowly beat them in 2018, thanks to Ronaldo’s solitary goal, and there is likely to be another close encounter here. However, the Portuguese are fresher and full of confidence, so they should sneak into the semi-finals. Morocco 1-2 Portugal
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