Spain vs. Morocco, 2 p.m. ET Monday, Fox Sports 1
- Spain -278
- Morocco +1068
- Draw +405
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Morocco have already been eliminated from the World Cup, and Spain need to win (and possibly then win some tiebreakers) to ensure that they’ll win the group. And for Spain, winning the group is hugely important.
Considering how the tournament has broken down, Spain could have one side of the bracket all to themselves if they win the group, while fellow pre-tournament favorites Brazil, Germany and France are bunched together on the other side. So, don’t expect them to rotate too heavily.
Morocco are a good team, and it’s unfortunate for them that they ended up in such a difficult group, and then lost a hard-fought game with Iran. But Morocco’s style isn’t a good fit for upsetting Spain. They are a very aggressive pressing side, perhaps the most aggressive pressing team in the tournament.
They’ve been quite good, both through qualifying and in this tournament at blowing up other team’s attacking coherence. While Hakim Ziyech was enough of a one-man attacking wrecking ball to get the team to this point, he hasn’t been able to get Morocco on the scoreboard at the big show.
Spain, unfortunately for Morocco, were created in a lab to handle pressing teams. They have an infinite number of midfielders who are creative passers on the ball, and have the patience to work in tight spaces. Some combination of Andres Iniesta, Isco, Thiago, David Silva and Koke will play in front of Sergio Busquets, and they’ll work together as a unit to get the ball through the press and create high-quality goal-scoring opportunities.
It’s hard to see anything but a win here for Spain, and that will set them up in a big way for the remainder of the tournament.