Morocco vs. Portugal: Top Storylines, Odds, Live Stream for World Cup 2022

Joe TanseyDecember 9, 2022

Morocco vs. Portugal: Top Storylines, Odds, Live Stream for World Cup 2022

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    LLUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Otavio and Bruno Fernandes of Portugal celebrates ,during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland at Lusail Stadium on December 6, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)
    MB Media/Getty Images

    Morocco will try to keep its improbable underdog run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup alive on Saturday against Portugal.

    The Atlas Lions topped a group containing Croatia and Belgium and then beat Spain on penalties in the round of 16.

    Morocco has conceded just once in Qatar, and that was Nayef Aguerd's own goal against Canada.

    Everything about the north African side's performances suggests it can hang with Portugal.

    However, the European side looked like a team with new inspiration and life in the round-of-16 win over Switzerland.

    An attack without Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting lineup thrived against the Swiss and put up four goals before bringing on its talismanic frontman.

    Portugal manager Fernando Santos likely has to keep the 37-year-old on the bench again in the quarterfinal on Saturday to give the others a chance to repeat their performance.

Odds and Match Info

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    AL RAYYAN, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Alvaro Morata #7 of Spain and Sofyan Amrab #4 of Morocco compete for the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Morocco and Spain at Education City Stadium on December 6, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Photo by Liu Lu/VCG via Getty Images)
    Liu Lu/VCG via Getty Images

    Odds

    90-Minute Moneyline

    Morocco +475 (bet $100 to win $475)

    Portugal -155 (bet $155 to win $100)

    To Advance To Next Round

    Morocco +235

    Portugal -300

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.


    Match Info

    Date: Saturday, 10 December

    Start Time: 10 a.m. ET

    TV: Fox

    Live Stream: FoxSports.com and Fox Sports app

Can Portugal Afford to Start Cristiano Ronaldo?

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    LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Cristiano Ronaldo (7) of Portugal gestures during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland at Lusail Stadium on December 06, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Fareed Kotb/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
    Fareed Kotb/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    Portugal proved in the round of 16 that it is better without Cristiano Ronaldo on the field.

    The five-time Ballon d'Or winner had a single goal in the group stage, which came from the penalty spot, and he was largely inactive in the final group game versus South Korea.

    The swap against Switzerland paid dividends for the Portuguese attack, as Gonçalo Ramos produced the first hat trick of this year's World Cup in a 6-1 win.

    The Benfica forward, 21, should be rewarded with another start alongside Bruno Fernandes and JoΓ£o FΓ©lix because of his three-goal, one-assist effort in the round of 16.

    Ramos' movement and sharp finishing in the final third will be even more important to Portugal on Saturday because Morocco has proved hard to break down.

    An argument can be made that the Atlas Lions have not gone up against an attack in full form yet. They got Croatia in the group opener, faced a struggling Belgian side, an eliminated Canada team and a Spain squad that did not start its best finisher in the round of 16.

    Portugal will be on the offensive early, and it could hope to overpower Morocco early and then let Ronaldo chase glory off the bench with a goal.

    If Portugal do need a goal, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star is still capable of producing one moment of brilliance to win a game. On current form, though, it seems unlikely that he will start on Saturday.

Is Morocco Capable of Pulling Off Another Upset?

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    AL RAYYAN, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Hakim Ziyech of Morocco scores a penalty during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Morocco and Spain at Education City Stadium on December 06, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)
    Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

    Morocco needs to follow the same blueprint it used to reach the quarterfinals.

    The Atlas Lions have played with a sturdy defense and taken advantage of their chances when handed to them.

    They have not allowed a goal to an opposing player, and goalkeeper Yassine Bounou comes in with a ton of confidence after his performance against Spain.

    Morocco needs to remain disciplined at the back and hope that the likes of Youssef En-Nesyri or Hakim Ziyech can pounce for a few chances on the counter.

    There is a chance Portugal could overrun the Moroccan back line early, but the longer the match stays scoreless, the more pressure will be on Portugal.

    There is a blueprint for Morocco to win, but one or two early mistakes could unravel the defense and make it a long day against an in-form Portuguese attack.


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