Kick-off: 1500, 06/12/2022
Stadium: Education City Stadium
There will be a wild atmosphere at Education City Stadium when Morocco take on Spain for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
The Atlas Lions have been backed by incredible support in Qatar and will give it their all, but La Roja may just have too much class.
We like 3/1 for Luis Enrique’s side to win and BTTS for our first Morocco vs Spain prediction.
Morocco upset the odds by topping the Group F table ahead of Croatia and Belgium.
After kicking off with a goalless stalemate versus the 2018 runners-up, Walid Regragui’s side stunned the highly-rated Red Devils 2-0.
Hakim Ziyech then pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Milan Borjan to put the Atlas Lions ahead against Canada and Youssef En-Nesyri doubled the advantage.
Nayef Aguerd’s own goal ended a run of six straight clean sheets but Morocco held on, with Atiba Hutchinson’s second-half header falling agonisingly short of crossing the line.
That result gave us a trio of successful selections in our match preview, including 13/2 for Chelsea winger Ziyech to break the deadlock!
After leading Morocco into the last 16 for just the second time following a 36-year-gap, Regragui said: “It was not easy.
“When you do have this opportunity to get into history, to make history, you remember it.
“The first half, I think it was one of the best performances that we have had in a long time.
“We didn’t come just to play or to say ‘oh, we almost got close’.
“We needed to duplicate the play of European teams with our own values, so we needed to marry and mix the two.”
Ziyech, PSG wing-back Achraf Hakimi and Sevilla forward En-Nesyri are the stand-out performers in a hard-working side.
However, we’re just not sure they have the all-round ability to match La Roja, who are Morocco vs Spain odds.
Spain admittedly remain something of an enigma after a puzzling set of results in Group E.
La Roja blazed a trail by crushing Costa Rica 7-0 and were the better team in a 1-1 draw with Germany.
However, after taking an early lead against Japan via Alvaro Morata and dominating the first half, they conceded twice in the opening stages of the second period to lose 2-1.
Enrique was livid at the way his side had panicked as they threw away the chance to secure top spot in the group.
“We are classified for the round of 16, which was the goal, but I am not happy at all,” he fumed.
“After a match in which the rival was dominated for 80 minutes, but we were the ones who lost, I have nothing to celebrate; I don’t celebrate defeats.
“We entered collapse mode. If they had needed to score two more goals, they would have scored them against us.”
It should be noted that Enrique did make changes for that match, though, and some established performers should return here.
“I have full confidence in my players,” added the manager. “Just 10 minutes of panic are not going to change what I think. My job is now to lift up the spirits.”
Spain have returned to prominence over the past few years, reaching the Euro 2020 semi-finals and winning back-to-back Nations League groups.
Morata is one of the players rejuvenated under Enrique and, after netting in all three pool matches, he is a worthy favourite at 7/2 to break the deadlock here.
Let’s also add 31/4 for La Roja to prevail 2-1 to our Morocco vs Spain betting tips.
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