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France vs Morocco World Cup Odds, Pick: Bet The Atlas Lions to Contend For Final

France vs Morocco World Cup Odds, Pick: Bet The Atlas Lions to Contend For Final article feature image
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Soccrates Images/Getty. Pictured: Kylian Mbappe.

France vs. Morocco World Cup Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 14
2 p.m. ET
FOX
France Odds -182
Morocco Odds +600
Draw +290
Over/Under 2.5 (+120 / -150)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (+125 / -175)
Odds via bet365. Get the latest World Cup odds here.

Morocco’s made history on Saturday at the World Cup when they became the first African nation to ever qualify for the semifinals. On Wednesday against defending champions France, the Moroccans will look to pull off yet another upset of a European giant and book the second spot in Sunday’s World Cup final.

The Atlas Lions have now beaten Spain on penalties and Portugal in regulation in the knockout stage. They’ve conquered the Iberian peninsula without conceding a goal. Through five matches at this World Cup, no opposing player has scored on them.

France arguably have the best player in the world and the best player in this tournament in Kylian Mbappé. They showed why they lifted this trophy four years ago in their thrilling 2-1 victory against England on Saturday.

It was a combination of new young stars and wily veterans as young midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni scored a screamer from outside the penalty area and Olivier Giroud headed home the winner.

It’ll be another stiff defensive test for Morocco, but the market is still undervaluing them, as it throughout the tournament.

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France Getting Results But Have Weaknesses

France’s quarterfinal victory against England was one of the most dramatic of the entire tournament. It highlighted what makes so France so excellent, but it also showed where the weaknesses exist in Didier Deschamps’ side.

The French struggled to maintain control of the match and were easily played through in the midfield at times. The lack of pressing ability made them vulnerable to England running at their penalty area and outnumbering them in the middle of the park.

A lack of defensive work from Antoine Griezmann and Mbappé leaves them exposed at times out of possession. They’ve also conceded three penalties in the last two matches, which calls into question how good their individual defending really is.

Despite all of this, France have the most efficient attack in the international world. Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele can easily get past a set defense. Griezmann is an elite creator and he has the freedom under Deschamps to come central or float to either wing to combine.

Giroud is also a perfect center forward to combine with the rest of the three attackers. Everyone knows their roles and they execute them well.

Mbappé has been the best player at this tournament, but he was kept in check against England. The English had a right back with the pace to match him in Kyle Walker. They also prevented Mbappé from getting isolated one-on-one by having Bukayo Saka track back defensively.

Morocco have Achraf Hakimi, Mbappé’s teammate at PSG, to match him. And Hakim Ziyech does a good bit of defensive work for a winger. Morocco have defended extremely well as a team, but they also haven’t faced a wide attacker close to the level of Mbappé.

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Does Morocco Have The Necessary Fitness to Contend? 

Morocco have now played four possession-dominant teams at this World Cup. Not only has Morocco not conceded a goal against any of them, but they haven’t allowed more than 1 xG in any of those matches. They’ve been the most compact and defensively organized team in this entire tournament.

Playing even with those four teams and not losing any of those matches is a bit fortunate, but don’t think that Morocco have been lucky in each match because that’s not the case.

The biggest question is whether Morocco have the legs and the fitness to continue this elite defensive approach. After injuries to three of their four first-choice defenders, there were tough moments against Portugal. The individual defending will need to be at its best against a team with the wide quality of Mbappé and Dembele.

Morocco’s first choice center backs Nayef Aguerd and Roman Saiss are both in doubt. Saiss went out against Portugal and is very unlikely to play on Wednesday. Aguerd has more of a chance as he’s training with the team, but he’s dealing with the flu and a hamstring problem.

Left back Noussair Mazaroui will be back in the lineup against France, and that’s a major key in defending Dembele on the right wing. Ziyech is also fit to start after leaving the Portugal match with a minor injury.

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France vs. Morocco Pick

All four of the European teams that Morocco faced were possession-dominant sides that want to have the ball as much as possible. That meant that Morocco would clog up the middle of the field and wait for their moments to attack in transition. This matchup against France is a bit different.

France aren’t a possession-first side. They don’t press at all and don’t aim to control matches by keeping the opponent penned into their final third. Les Bleus have averaged just 54% of the possession in five matches at this World Cup, 10th-highest in the tournament.

Morocco should have more of the ball against France than they’ve had in their last two knockout matches. Ziyech should also get room to operate in a similar manner to how Christian Eriksen of Denmark and Piotr Zielenski of Poland were able to get plenty of attacking third touches against France. If France give Ziyech time and space to find Youssef En-Nesyri with crosses and balls in behind, Morocco have a viable attack in this match.

They are probably going to concede a goal at some point, but the attack can exploit space behind attacking left back Theo Hernandez. France’s defense remains overvalued here, as it’s been this entire tournament. I still rate Spain as a better team than France and don’t think the French should be bigger favorites than Spain were last week, especially with a lower total now.

I’m betting Morocco +1 at -125 or better and I like Morocco to score at -120 or better.

The Picks: Morocco +1 (-110) | Morocco Team Total Over 0.5 (-110)

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