After 3:3 with Spain, Portugal are confident that Cristiano Rolando can lead them to glory. CR7 scored a hat-trick in that match and is ready to do something similar against Morocco on Wednesday at Stadion Luzhniki in Moscow. But, Portugal might not win it that easily, as Morocco need to go all-in. They lost to Iran in the first round and if they lose again, everything is over.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the man in the spotlight right now, as he’s so far the most impressive footballer on the tournament. Not only did he score 3 goals against mighty Spain, but he also showed formidable physical prowess in that match. We saw him sprinting like Usain Bolt on couple occasions.
Of course, Ronaldo isn’t the only player in this team. Portugal do have plenty of other players who might shine against Morocco. It’s fair to expect to see more from Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, Valencia’s Goncalo Guedes, and AC Milan’s Andre Silva. All of these guys are terrific forwards, who can definitely cause big problems to the defensive line of Morocco.
But, what about Portugal’s defense? Can Morocco somehow compete with Portugal goals-wise? Well, the thing is that Portugal are super-strong in defense, even though their center-backs seem a bit sluggish. This is a side that allowed only 4 goals in 10 games of the qualifiers for the World Cup. They did allow 3 against Spain, but to be fair, Morocco are nowhere near the Spaniards in terms of player quality.
And when it comes to motivation, you can be sure that Portugal won’t be lacking it in this match. A win over Morocco would mean that they’re a step closer to the knockout stage. But, this team won’t be satisfied simply with a place in the Round of 16. They want to finish the group stage on the top of the table, as in that case, they would play against the second from the Group A.
Herve Renard’s boys were unlucky to lose the game with Iran, with the winning goal being scored 5 minutes after the 90-minute mark. The worst thing is that the goal was scored by a Morocco player. This might have ruined the mood in their locker-room, but Renard is famous for his man-management skills. You can be sure that he’s gonna prepare them well and make them super-eager to fight the Portuguese.
The problem is that Morocco don’t seem to have the kind of talent needed to cause an upset against such a strong opponent as Portugal. There aren’t many big-name players in this team. Instead, they rely on team spirit to get them going.
That said, you can expect Morocco to work very hard defensively and look for their chances on the break. They have several very good defenders (e.g. Benatia) who could try to stop Ronaldo and his teammates. On the other end, they have a few pacey forwards (Amrabat, Belhanda, etc.) who seem capable of outrunning Portugal’s rather slow center-backs.
Rui Patricio – Pepe, Fonte, Cedric, Guerreiro – Moutinho, Adrien Silva, Carvalho – Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Guedes
Munir – Benatia, Saiss, Sofyan Amrabat, Hakimi – El Ahmadi, Boussoufa, Belhanda, Ziyech, Nordin Ambrabat – El Kaabi
Portugal vs. Morocco Match Prediction
It seems that Portugal are big favorites here, mainly thanks to their impressive attack led by Cristiano Ronaldo. There’s no way they won’t score in this match, but can they prevent Morocco from doing the same?
Portugal have pretty slow centre-backs, 35-years-old Pepe and 34-years-old Fonte, which is what Morocco will try to take an advantage off. That said, we can assume we’re going to see lots of goals in this game.
Portugal vs. Morocco Betting Tips
- Portugal @ 1.61 (bet365)
- BTS @2.15 (Bwin)
- Over 2.5 Goals @2.17 (Unibet)
- Cristiano Ronaldo to Score Anytime @2.02 (Unibet)