France and Morocco go head-to-head on Wednesday evening in what promises to be an absorbing 2022 World Cup semi-finals at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Les Blues sent England packing 2-1 in the quarter-finals last weekend to keep their hopes of back-to-back titles alive. Aurelien Tchouameni’s rasping long-range goal and Olivier Giroud’s header on either side of a Harry Kane penalty got the job done for Didier Deschamps’ side.
In midweek, the defending champions will be wary of a lively Morocco side, who became the first African nation to make it to the semi-finals in World Cup history by stunning Portugal 1-0 in the last eight.
France Team News
France enter the semi-finals of the World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium without any fresh injury or suspension concerns to contend with, so it is unlikely Didier Deschamps will make any changes from his starting XI that beat England in the last round.
Predicted France Lineup vs Morocco (4-2-3-1)
Hugo Lloris has been in top form throughout the World Cup campaign. He is likely to start in goal and lead his troops again.
The French defence picks itself at this point, with Raphael Varane resuming his centre-back partnership with Dayot Upamecano in the France lineup. Varane and Upamecano will need to be at their commanding best to contain Youssef En-Nesyri, who scored the winner against Portugal.
Jules Kounde has firmly exiled Benjamin Pavard at right-back and is expected to start again in the France lineup. Theo Hernandez, despite conceding a cheap penalty against England, will get the nod at left-back. France’s entire defensive unit must prepare themselves well to deal with Morocco’s quick counter-attacks.
Aurelien Tchouameni and Adrien Rabiot have done an excellent job at the base of France’s midfield throughout the campaign. With Tchouameni sitting and breaking up the opposition’s play, Rabiot gets the license to venture forward and contribute to the team’s attacks.
While France are expected to dominate possession against Morocco, how Rabiot and Tchouameni use the ball in the middle of the park will be interesting to watch. Linking the play between midfield and attack will be Antoine Griezmann, who was excellent against England and bagged the assist for Giroud’s goal.
The likes of Jordan Veretout, Eduardo Camavinga and Mateo Guendouzi will offer cover for midfield positions from the bench.
France’s all-time leading goalscorer of the men’s team Olivier Giroud is a shoo-in to lead the attack, with Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele acting as wide forwards in the France lineup. With their explosive pace, directness and trickery, Mbappe and Dembele can cause a lot of problems for the Moroccan defenders. The duo will look to drag Morocco out of its structure and disciplined defensive shape to create space for Giroud to exploit.
Kingsley Coman and Marcus Thuram could be introduced off the bench to add more energy and goal threat when required.