Here is all you need to know about the France vs Morocco FIFA World Cup semifinal match at the Al Bayt stadium.
After putting Belgium, Portugal and Spain to the sword in Qatar, Morocco is looking to bring another soccer superpower to its knees when it faces France in the World Cup semifinal on Wednesday in a match heavy with political and social overtones.
Morocco, the first African side to reach the last four at a World Cup, will command ear-splitting support at the Al Bayt Stadium, and will need every bit of it to beat the defending champion and continue its fairy tale run.
The match against former colonial power France will take on an added edge. Morocco’s exploits in Qatar have provided an outlet for marginalised migrant communities in France, who have been out on the streets celebrating the teams wins.
The North Africans have ridden the wave of support throughout the tournament, crowds exhorting players to keep going as they emptied the tanks in every game.
After finishing top of a group that also included Croatia, Belgium and Canada, Morocco then knocked off the fancied Spaniards and Portuguese to reach the semis.
But whether it has enough to engineer an even bigger upset remains to be seen. By their own admission, there is a vast chasm in quality between the two sides.
France is expected to attack, Morocco to resist. Morocco’s defence has been virtually watertight, conceding only once - an own goal against Canada - in its five matches so far.
France: Hugo Lloris - Theo Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, Raphael Varane, Jules Kounde - Adien Rabiot, Aurelien Tchouameni, Antoine Griezmann - Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembele
Morocco: Yassine Bounou - Achraf Hakimi, Jawad El Yamiq, Achraf Dari, Noussair Mazraoui - Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat, Selim Amallah - Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri, Sofiane Boufal
PLAYERS WHO MAY MISS FRA vs MAR SEMIFINAL - INJURIES AND SUSPENSIONS
The biggest omission from the Morocco lineup will be captain Romain Saiss. The defender was subbed off and stretchered off in the team’s 1-0 win over Portugal.
Saiss’ absence is the second one in the defence line for Morocco. Nayef Aguerd, another mainstay in the backline, is likely to not recover in time from his hamstring injury which made him sit the quarterfinal match out.
There was another injury scare to star forward Hakim Ziyech who suffered a knock and hobbled out from the Portugal game, but the Chelsea player looks to have overcome the problem and is likely to start the game.
Apart from the two defenders, forward Walid Cheddira will miss the match against France. The striker was booked twice in the quarterfinal and shown a red card.
For France, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann got yellow cards in the quarterfinal match, but these cautions, their first in the tournament, will be removed for the semifinal.
When and where to watch
When will the France vs Morocco semifinal match kick-off?
The France vs Morocco semifinal match will kick-off at 12:30 am IST, December 15.
Where will the France vs Morocco semifinal match kick-off?
The France vs Morocco semifinal match will kick-off at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Where can you watch the France vs Morocco semifinal match in India?
The France vs Morocco semifinal match will be telecasted live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. On Android and well as iOS, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be live streamed on JioCinema.
Where can you watch the France vs Morocco semifinal match outside India?
Argentina – Live Stream: Telemundo
United States – TV: FOX, Telemundo; Live Stream: fuboTV, Fox Sports app, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo
Canada – TV: CTV, TSN; Live Stream: fuboTV, TSN app
United Kingdom – TV: BBC One; Live Stream: BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Website
Australia – TV: SBS; Live Stream: SBS On Demand
New Zealand – TV: Sky Sports; Live Stream: Sky Sport
Malaysia – TV: RTM, Astro; Live Stream: Astro Go
Singapore – TV: Mediacorp Channel 5; Live Stream: StarHub TV+, IPTV, Singtel TV
Hong Kong – TV: BeIN Sports, ITV; Live Stream: Now TV, ViuTV
Nigeria – SuperSport and Showmax Pro.
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