FIFA World Cup: Portugal vs Morocco preview

Reigning European champions take on reigning African champions Morocco at Luzhniki Arena in Moscow on Wednesday in a match that could push one of the two teams on the brink of elimination from FIFA World Cup Group B. The two teams have met only once before, at the 1986 World Cup, and back then Morocco stunned Portugal and won the match 3-1. That year Morocco produced their best ever World Cup performance, finishing ahead of England in the group and then losing 1-0 to West Germany in the round of 16.

Portugal had a spectacular start to their World Cup adventure, Cristiano Ronaldo scored three times in the 3-3 draw against Spain. In fact, Ronaldo pretty much secured that draw for Portugal by himself, especially with a stunning free-kick strike in the 88th minute, but head coach Fernando Santos must be worried by the fact that they conceded three goals and allowed Spain to fight back from a goal down twice. There are no injury worries for the European champions ahead of this match, so we will probably see the same starting eleven that played against Spain.

Morocco had been hoping for a better start and in all honesty they have been quite unlucky to lose 1-0 against Iran after having dominated most of that match. That match was decided by a very unfortunate goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time and now Morocco are in a pretty desperate situation because only victory against Portugal could give them a realistic chance of qualifying. Nabil Dirar is the only injury concern for head coach Herve Renard, who will most likely decide against making changes to his starting eleven.

Probable line-ups:

Portugal: Patricio - Soares, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro - B. Silva, Moutinho, Carvalho, Fernandes - Ronaldo, Guedes

Morocco: Mohamedi - Amrabat, Benatia, Saiss, Hakimi - Boussoufa, Ahmadi - Zyiech, Belhanda, Harit - Kaabi

My prediction: 1-1 draw, Cristiano Ronaldo can't rescue Portugal in every single match and Morocco are pretty strong.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Portugal win - 1.64
Draw - 3.90
Morocco win - 6.25

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Members Comments

  • Bulgaria sharpe


    I think that after that Portugal 3-3 draw versus Spain at the start many people were mislead that those teams will be two of the real strong contenders for the cup but since then it was a really disappointing performance.
    Each of them could of been eliminated in group and congratulations for both Morocco and Iran for what they've shown and with little bit more class in front of goal both these could of progress further in the tournament for Portugal and Spain expense.

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