Morocco’s inspiring run lives on after upsetting Spain via penalty shootout in the Round of 16. They now face a red-hot Portugal squad for a chance to make the World Cup Semifinals for the first time in the country’s history.
Despite being absolutely dominated in possession against a talented Spain side, Achraf Hakimi and the rest of the Moroccan backline kept another clean sheet over 120 minutes of football.
Walid Regragui’s squad has been resolute at the back during the tournament, with just one goal getting past shootout hero Yassine Bounou at this World Cup.
Portugal enters this match after their strongest performance of the tournament, a 6-1 victory over Switzerland in the Round of 16. This victory came despite the surprising benching of Cristiano Ronaldo after a disagreement with head coach Fernando Santos.
Ronaldo’s replacement, Gonçalo Ramos, made an immediate impact scoring three goals and assisting on another in his first start of the tournament. Santos will now have a tough decision to make at the striker position with such a big game approaching.
Morocco vs Portugal Odds
- 3-Way Handicap: Morocco (+450) | Draw (+270) | Portugal (-150)
- Draw No Bet: Morocco (+290) |Portugal (-450)
- Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 ( +105) | Under 2.5 (-145)
- Both Teams to Score: Yes (+105) | No (-150)
- To Qualify: Morocco (+225) | Portugal (-350)
Morocco vs Portugal odds are current as of Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7 a.m. on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Despite Morocco’s stellar play throughout the tournament, the North African side enters this match as significant underdogs against the Portuguese.
Morocco have made it evident how they want to approach these matches, particularly as they continue to advance in the tournament. Portugal’s last match against Switzerland was proof that this tactic may not work against the relentless attack of Santos’ squad.
With the contributions Portugal is seeing across the board, I like the Over, as well as Both Teams to Score: No, as the safer options in this match.
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Morocco vs Portugal Prediction
Morocco 0-2 Portugal
Getting a result against Morocco has proven to be one of the most difficult tasks for any team that has stood in the path of the North African side. While it won’t be easy, Portugal should have enough to be the first team to defeat Hakim Ziyech and the Atlas Lions.
Portugal has had an outstanding tournament despite the outside noise surrounding Ronaldo, his club future, and his place in the Portugal squad. Santos has done an exceptional job ensuring the team remains focused on the ultimate goal and judging by their current form, his squad could contend for a spot in the World Cup Final on Dec. 18.
The squad is oozing with talent at every position, and Santos has been able to get contributions from younger stars like Rafael Leão and veterans like 39-year-old center back Pepe, who both scored against Switzerland.
Portugal’s strong mix of young talent, and veteran leadership will help propel them past a Moroccan team that has never been this far in the tournament.
There aren’t many bad things you can say about Morocco and the way they have competed in this World Cup. From failing to make it out of the group stage in 2018 to reaching the Quarterfinals four years later, the turnaround that Regragui has engineered with this squad has been impressive, to say the least.
Morocco’s relentless defending and abstract style of playing has been a joy to watch all tournament, but it will not hold up against the experienced Portugal attack.
Morocco vs Portugal Betting Tips
- Morocco allowed just one shot on target against Spain despite losing the possession battle, 77% to 23%.
- The Atlas Lions’ attack has been worrisome, scoring just four goals in four games. Regragui’s squad also has the worst pass completion percentage (76.1%) of any teams remaining in the tournament.
- A big reason for Morocco’s defensive success has been a tournament-high 92 tackles, with 56 of them winning the ball.
- Despite a relatively even battle possession-wise, Portugal’s attack finished with five more shots and six more on target than Switzerland in their Round of 16 match.
- Portugal is now tied with England for the most goals in the tournament with 12. Only two have come from the penalty spot.
- Midfield maestro Bruno Fernandes has been pulling the strings for Portugal. He enters the match tied for the tournament lead in assists with three.
Morocco vs Portugal Best Bets
Portugal to Win to Nil (+145) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 Units
The Atlas Lions have shown flashes of brilliance, particularly on the wings this tournament. Even so, the lack of chances created, paired with poor finishing, has resulted in poor scoring performances at this World Cup.
With Portugal having such a strong midfield and experienced defenders, Morocco’s chances will be limited once again.
Portugal will simply have to crack the stern Morocco defense and quell any chances on the counter for this to cash.
Morocco or Portugal and Under 3.5 Goals (-150) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 3 Units
For a safer play in this match, pair the Double Chance prop (either team to win) with Under 3.5. This feels like a lock based on the form of both teams.
While Portugal did manage to score six goals against a strong Switzerland defense in their last match, Morocco has been by far the best defense in the tournament and it would be hard to foresee Portugal repeating that performance once again.
Either team to win will also cover your bases as Morocco has already completed several upsets during this run. And if Morocco does find a way to win, the Under will almost certainly hit.