Spain has Morocco in the last 16 to beat before they desire to follow their 2010 World Cup run in this tournament. La Roja surprisingly finished second in their group and once was almost on the verge of elimination alongside their other group opponent Germany.
Spain went on to lose their last match of the group stage against Japan and consequently finished second in the table and now will face Group F winner Morocco who also stunned the footballing world by finishing first in their table ahead of the clear favorites, Croatia and Belgium.
To say more about Morocco, the African sides have been a surprise package in this world cup. They held Croatia to a draw and shocked the footballing world with a 2-0 victory against the second-ranked nation in the FIFA, Belgium. Nothing is uneven from the knockouts whatever the nature of the fixture is or what each of the team’s strengths is. This match between Morocco and Spain is one of the ideal examples.
Morocco Vs Spain Most Recent Team News And Expected Lineups
Chelsea’s back Cesar Azpilicueta, Brentford shot-stopper, David Raya, and Leipzig forward Dani Olmo reportedly missed training after Spain’s defeat to Japan. Still, all three are expected to be fit for the La Roja game versus Morocco. But the former may have a competition with Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal to be on the first array.
Some of the players strongly hinted to start are Jordi Alba, Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, and Aymeric Laporte. While Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon committed an error in the last game against Japan, he still is very likely to start in the game with Morocco. Another man to get the game on the run for Spain will be Barcelona striker, Ferran Torres. Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams and Alejandro Balde might also see some action off the bench.
For Morocco, Sevilla shot-stopper Yassine Bounou is apparently 100% fit and will now be more and more untouchable in the starting eleven. Despite being rumored to have some ankle problems, PSG man on the flank, Achraf Hakimi is well expected to be among the first men. Up top will be the unquestionable presence of a trio, Chelsea’s striker Hakim Ziyech, Fiorentina Sofyan Amrabat, and Angers’ Sofiane Boufal.
Morocco: Bono; Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Sahiri; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Spain: Simon; Carvajal, Rodri, Laporte, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Gavi; Torres, Morata, Olmo
Morocco Vs Spain Previous Meetings
Altogether, Morocco and Spain have faced each other three times, all in a competitive fixture. Their first-ever clash was in the playoffs for World Cup 1962. The first game of the two-legged match saw Spain winning with a score of 1-0 while in the final game, La Roja defeated the African side with a 3-2 home win.
One of the meetings was also at the FIFA World Cup the last edition in the group stage. Back then Spain played a 2-2 draw with their African neighbor.
Morocco Vs Spain Predictions
Spain might be the seasoned veteran of the knockouts but they are also prone to losing against surprise teams at major international tournaments. Morocco is certain to bring the spirit of defensive resilience they have been applying so far in this tournament and at times the game events may be as same as Spain’s struggle against Japan when they were 2-1 behind. Morocco is more than likely to hurt them on the counter at least once. From there it is going to be one-sided in terms of possession. However since the Iberian sides don’t have those quality finishers up top, they might be only limited to perpetual ball-keeping. Unless Spain gets clicked in the final third they aren’t the clear favorites of this fixture. Their passing becomes too dull when they are under pressure and Morocco may very well take advantage of that.
Although Spain along with England was the joint-highest scorer in the FIFA World Cup group stage, they are expected to struggle against Morocco’s rigid defense. The Atlas Lions additionally are high flying at the moment and considering the fact that each world cup has the tradition of giving at least one team as a shocker participant, Morocco could very well be that. Pulling off another surprise victory cannot be ruled out.
Projected Scoreline: Morocco 2-0 Spain
Morocco Vs Spain Most Recent Odds
|3/5 (1.60) to win|
|7/2 (4.50) for Alvaro Morata to score the first goal|
|5/1 (6.00) for Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres to score the first goal|
|11/2 (6.50) to win|
|11/1 (12.00) for Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En Nesyri to score the first goal|
11/4 (3.75) for a draw
Source: bet 365
Morocco Vs Spain Previous Stats Of Each Team
|0||Shots on target||2|
|1||Big chances missed||0|
|3||Shots on target||5|
|1||Big chances missed||2|
|0||Big chances missed||1|