Portugal vs Morocco Tips: Betting Odds, Preview & Predictions For This QF Game
Portugal vs Morocco Predictions:
- Portugal To Keep A Clean Sheet - 21/20 With BoyleSports
- Half-Time/Full-Time: Draw/Portugal - 10/3 With Paddy Power
- Bruno Fernandes To Score Anytime - 3/1 With Bet365
The third quarter-final of World Cup 2022 has a clear favourite with betting sites, but Morocco vs Portugal will not necessarily be a one-sided affair.
The Atlas Lions have been the surprise package of the tournament, topping their group ahead of Croatia, Belgium and Canada before knocking out Spain on penalties in the round of 16.
After that fantastic accomplishment, Morocco will have no fear heading into this weekend’s clash at the Al Thumama Stadium.
Portugal will be full of confidence too after they demolished Switzerland 6-1 on Tuesday.
Fernando Santos’ decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo was vindicated as his replacement, Goncalo Ramos, notched a brilliant hat-trick to send his country through in style.
How do we see this match playing out? Read on for our thoughts on the game, including three recommended bets.
Morocco Looking To Spring Another Surprise In Qatar
Morocco are only the fourth African nation to reach the last eight of a World Cup after Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010).
They are just one win away from breaking new ground as far as their 54-country continent is concerned.
They may not be one of the World Cup betting favourites, but we know what to expect from this team by now.
Only Costa Rica have averaged less possession at this World Cup. Morocco are not interested in dominating the ball but instead focus their efforts on controlling the space.
They sit deep in a compact defensive shape and make it very difficult for their opponents to break them down.
Spain certainly struggled to create chances against Walid Regragui’s side. La Roja made more than 1000 passes on Tuesday yet mustered just one shot on target.
In possession, the Atlas Lions are a direct team that look to move the ball through the pitch quickly, preferring fast, incisive passes to aimless long ones.
But the more they focus on keeping the opposition out, the less they have to offer as an attacking force.
That is why we like Portugal’s chances of keeping a clean sheet on World Cup betting sites.
Most of the play will take place far away from their goal, while Santos’ side gave up very little from open play against Switzerland in the round of 16.
Tip: Portugal To Keep A Clean Sheet - 21/20 With BoyleSports
Portugal Could Have A Physical Edge On Saturday
Morocco’s players put absolutely everything into their last-16 tie. Nayef Aguerd was forced off injured, while Romain Saiss could barely walk by the end after having his hamstring heavily strapped.
Sofyan Amrabat, the midfield enforcer, revealed afterwards that he had needed painkilling injections to take part.
Those gruelling 120 minutes will have taken a lot out of Morocco. Their opponents, by contrast, should be feeling relatively fresh.
Their meeting with Switzerland on Tuesday was essentially over as a contest after half-time.
Even the Portugal players that remained on the pitch were able to conserve some energy after the break.
That could play into their hands. It is not yet known whether Aguerd and Saiss will be able to start this match, but even if they are the centre-back duo and most of their team-mates will not be operating at peak physical capacity.
Morocco are supremely well organised. They have only conceded once in Qatar – and that was an own goal against Canada.
But while they will probably have some initial success in keeping Portugal at bay, the favourites with football betting sites will come on strong as the game progresses.
Spain fell into the trap of not offering enough verticality against Morocco, but Portugal are unlikely to make the same mistake.
They might have to wait until the second half to make the breakthrough, but in the end Santos’ charges should prove too strong.
Tip: Half-Time/Full-Time: Draw/Portugal - 10/3 With Paddy Power
Fernandes Could Be Astute Pick In Goalscorer Market
Santos’ decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo against the Swiss could have gone horribly wrong, but it was the right move from a footballing perspective and Ramos’ performance ensured the coach was praised for his boldness.
The 21-year-old could even make a late run for the Golden Boot if he scores again here.
From a betting perspective, though, we like the look of Bruno Fernandes. With Ronaldo on the bench, the Manchester United man will be on penalty duty for Portugal.
He will also be one of the leading contenders to take free-kicks, and his long-range shooting could be an asset against opponents that will prioritise packing the penalty area.
Fernandes tended to play better for United when Ronaldo was absent, and that could also be the case at international level. Back him on betting apps to find the net here.
Tip: Bruno Fernandes To Score Anytime - 3/1 With Bet365
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