Big Match Breakdown: Portugal v Morocco
Charlie Dear | 20 June 2018
Odds and preview ahead of match-day two clash
Group B continues with the second round of World Cup matches this afternoon as Portugal face Morocco.
Portugal’s draw with Spain leaves them two points off top spot but know a win would catapult them back into contention.
Meanwhile, Morocco will almost certainly have to get the three points to have any chance of qualification.
It’s finely poised and all eyes will be on the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The Coral News Team have all the key info ahead of the game…
The two sides have met only once before, that was in the World Cup in Mexico 1986. Two Abderrazak Khairi goals and one from Abdelkrim Merry sealed a 3-1 win for Morocco.
Portugal have lost just once in ten games. A run stretching back a whole year to their Confederations Cup defeat to Chile.
The injury-time winner for Iran last Friday was Morocco’s first loss since June 2017. They’d been on a seventeen match unbeaten run until then.
There are no injury worries but Gelson Martins or Joao Mario may replace Bruno Fernandes in the Portuguese starting line-up.
Martins is amongst the most exciting but young players in the squad. The 23-year-old has had a fine season for club Sporting Lisbon but has only started one game for Portugal in 2018.
Manager Fernando Santos may plump for the more experienced Mario from the off.
The West Ham United midfielder looks as though he may move on after the tournament and will want to impose himself as early as possible.
Morocco will have to do without Nordin Amrabat at right-back though, as the Watford man is suffering from concussion.
It looks like, his brother Sofyan will replace him after coming on against Iran.
The Ronaldo show could well continue it’s month long jaunt around Russia, this time in Moscow.
How well Mehdi Benatia deals with Ronaldo will most probably be the focus of the attention.
However, Portugal do boast another Premier League winner in their ranks.
Bernardo Silva started last season on the periphery for Manchester City but he ended it with a Premier League medal and as a key part of Pep Guardiola’s side.
Silva will surely keep his spot in the side and his link-up with the lively Goncalo Guedes and either Joao Mario or Gelson Martins on the other flank will be crucial.
Herve Renard’s Moroccan side will be pleased with how they played against Iran but need a result in this one.
The wiry Hakim Ziyech and Schalke’s Amine Harit will hope to add a clinical edge this time round.
The first goal may well be the turning point as both teams search for their first win of the tournament.
Guedes has had a break-out year whilst on-loan at Valencia and he is 21/20 bet to score Any time.
Both teams to get on the score-sheet is at 11/10.
Morocco striker Ayoub El Kaabi is 14/1 to score a header.
His team-mate Ziyech loves a strike from distance and is 10/1 to score from outside the box.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing