France vs Morocco: Key factors in FIFA World Cup semifinal | Football News

DOHA: World Cup holders France will face Morocco, the first African semi-finalists in history, in the last four match on Wednesday in Qatar.
Here’s a look at some of the keys to the game:
Morocco have conceded just one goal in the entire tournament – an own goal in their 2-1 win over Canada in the group stage – Croatia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal all having failed to break through a rock-solid back line.
But France has multiple goal threats. Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud have scored nine goals between them and Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann will also be asking plenty of questions.

Morocco have a number of fitness issues in their defense – centre-back Nayef Aguerd missed the Portugal game with a muscle injury and regular partner Romain Saiss was substituted with a repeat hamstring injury -legs.
Whoever Walid Regragui is able to send will need to be fully lit. France showed against England that even if Mbappe is neutralized, there are plenty of other sources of danger.
France are likely to enjoy plenty of possession in the Moroccan half, but they will need to guard against quick counterattacks.
The Moroccans’ style is direct and while they tend to focus on the flanks, with Hakim Ziyech on the right and Sofiane Boufal on the left, they can also go deep towards striker Youssef En-Nesyri and then scamper in support.

France full-backs Jules Kounde and Theo Hernandez can expect a busy evening, while Morocco will be looking to capitalize on any mistakes by centre-half Dayot Upamecano, who struggled against England.
“We are well aware of their qualities, even if they don’t often have possession,” said Koundé. “They are very efficient with the ball, they try to combine quickly and find their players wide.”
Morocco expended a tremendous amount of energy in their wins over Spain and Portugal and with some players injured, Wednesday’s game will be a real test of their durability and stamina.
The match against Spain ended in a penalty shootout as they faced a frantic second half against Portugal.
France, on the other hand, were able to manage their knockout matches without any extra time and should be much fresher.

Didier Deschamps’ men will look to exploit their physical advantage by making Morocco work hard without the ball, changing the game and forcing Regragui’s side to chase the ball, especially in the early stages.
France have fewer injury worries and more attacking weaponry, but Morocco will have the crowd behind them at Al Bayt Stadium, urging them to pull off another upset.
The African team, known as the Atlas Lions, have been one of the most supported teams in Qatar and will enjoy huge support on Wednesday as the first Arab team to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup.


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