- Morocco is the surprise team in the quarterfinals.
- Portugal will find it more difficult to score goals against Morocco.
- I expect a low-scoring game with Portugal advancing.
The Cinderella story continues for Morocco, who is in the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals for the first time. The Atlas Lions will face a free-scoring Portugal on Saturday, December 10, at Al Thumama Stadium.
Can Morocco continue on their surprising run to become the first African country to reach the semifinals? Or, will Fernando Santos’ men cut short the hopes of an entire continent?
Portugal vs. Morocco Prediction, World Cup:
The winning team model predicts Portugal will win this quarterfinals game with 52% confidence. The model also predicts a 26% chance of a tie/draw in regular time.
Portugal vs. Morocco Odds, Outrights, Over/Under
- Match Result: Portugal (-150) | Draw (+270) | Morocco (+450)
- Draw No Bet: Portugal (-450) | Morocco (+290)
- Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 (+105) | Under 2.5 (-145)
Portugal vs. Morocco Match Info
2022 World Cup — Quarter-finals
Date: Saturday, December 10
Time: 10:00 AM ET
Venue: Al Thumama Stadium, Qatar
Coverage: FOX, Telemundo
Portugal vs. Morocco Analysis
There was a noticeable changing of the guard for the Portuguese team in the Round of 16. Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench in a World Cup knockout match for the first time since 2006, when he was just 21.
Fernando Santos’ decision to leave the country’s sporting icon out of the starting lineup was vindicated when his replacement, 21-year-old Gonçalo Ramos, scored a hat trick.
The game against Switzerland was fluid, and Portugal played a high press that simply isn’t possible with an aging Ronaldo on the field. He certainly wasn’t missed, as the Portuguese ran riot, winning the game 6-1.
Eight different players have now found the back of the net for Portugal in this tournament, which is intimidating for any defense to deal with. However, it’s important to consider that they did face relatively favorable matchups in the first four games, in which they conceded five goals.
While it would be easy to get carried away after Portugal’s last outing, it’s important to remember that Morocco is a particularly stingy side when it comes to allowing goals. They completely nullified Spain, who had previously scored seven goals against Costa Rica.
There’s been plenty of upsets in Qatar so far, but Morocco’s win over Spain in the Round of 16 is probably the biggest t. The Atlas Lions have been defensively sublime. The only goal that Morocco allowed in the tournament was an own goal against Canada.
Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stopped all three of the shots he faced during Tuesday’s penalty shootout against Spain, and he is a formidable force for Morocco at the back. The biggest concern is the injury to center-back Nayef Aguerd, who has been the bedrock of defense.
Morocco’s biggest concern will be the lack of goals. They have scored just four goals so far, despite creating numerous chances. They rode their luck a bit against Spain, but I don’t think they will be able to do the same against Portugal.
Ultimately, Portugal is the favorite, and I think that the team has enough creative firepower to find a way around Morocco’s defense, especially if Aguerd isn’t on the pitch.
This will be a much sterner test than the game against Switzerland, and I don’t think Portugal will win emphatically, but I do expect them to advance to the semifinals.
Portugal vs. Morocco Game Result Odds
- Match Result: Portugal (-150)
- Draw No Bet: Portugal (-450)
- Over/Under Goals: Under 2.5 (-145)
- Portugal to Win and Morocco Not to Score: (+145)
- Tie or Portugal and Under 1.5 Goals (+260)