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France vs Morocco 2022 World Cup semifinal: Preview, how to watch, odds, best bets

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France vs Morocco Kylian Mbappe
France’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. France won 2-1. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Now there are three. With Argentina having booked its place in the World Cup Final following a 3-0 win over Croatia on Tuesday, it’s France vs Morocco to decide the other finalist at this year’s tournament in Qatar. 

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The defending champions in France were expected to get this far having the brightest young star on the planet in Kylian Mbappe leading the race for the Golden Boot with five goals at the tournament. They’ve scored 11 goals in five matches to outshine a defense that has looked suspect at times. 

Still, they are the overwhelming favorites for this semifinal — and rightfully so.

When it comes to their opponents in Morocco, though, no one expected the Atlas Lions to be here.

This is the first African side to ever reach the semifinal stage of a World Cup, doing so by allowing just one single goal in Qatar — which was an own goal during a 2-1 group-stage win over Canada. A team no short on quality boasts the marauding wing-back, Achraf Hakimi, while Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech pulls the attacking strings. 

Sure, this is a Cinderella story, but it’s also abundantly clear that Morocco can hang with the best sides in world soccer. The Atlas Lions have already downed three of the traditional powerhouses on the planet: Belgium in the group stage before outlasting Spain in penalties in the Round of 16 and crashing Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal out of the competition in the quarterfinals. 

It would be a remarkable event to finally see an African nation in a World Cup Final.

France vs Morocco
Morocco’s players celebrate after winning the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Morocco and Portugal, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

France vs Morocco

  • Date: Wednesday, Dec. 14
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • Channel: FOX
  • Live Stream: Fox Sports Live

 

Match Details

France   Morocco
4th  FIFA Ranking 22nd
Group D winner in UEFA qualifying Qualification Defeated DR Congo in CAF 3rd Round
15 Previous World Cup Appearances 5
Champions (1998, 2018) Best Previous Finish Round of 16 (1986)

 

Betting Info 

Courtesy of Draftkings Sportsbook (see latest odds here)

  • SPREAD: France -0.5 (-185), Morocco +0.5 (+145)
  • OVER/UNDER: 2.5 goals (+125 over or -155 under)
  • MONEY LINE: France (-180), Morocco (+600), Draw after 90 minutes (+290)

 

Best Bet:

France has looked unstoppable when fielding its first-team squad at the World Cup even if it had to squeak through to the semifinals thanks to a flubbed Harry Kane penalty attempt.

Regardless, that was the No. 5 ranked team in the world Les Bleus managed to get through — and a motivated one at that considering the Three Lions haven’t won a World Cup since 1966.

France has scored at least two goals in four of five games in Qatar and despite Morocco’s resolute defense, I don’t see that trend stopping on Wednesday. On the flip side, France has conceded in each of its five games at the World Cup. As a result, I like a France win (-180) while taking the over 2.5 goals (+125) mark here. 

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