Morocco’s run to the final four of the World Cup has been arguably the most remarkable story to come out of the Qatar showpiece event, but in holders France, they meet their sternest test yet.

Few could have foreseen the fearless manner in which Walid Regragui’s men overcame Belgium, Spain and Portugal, fully embracing the underdog tag in becoming the first African nation to reach the semi-finals.

But while France’s journey to the latter stages has been at times less than convincing, Didier Deschamps would have been hard-pushed to find a more desirable semi-final opponent as Les Bleus prepare to defend their title.

France vs Morocco Betting Tips

  • France To Win and Under 2.5 Goals @ 2/1
  • Sofiane Boufal To Be Carded @ 11/4

Team news

With yellow card records wiped ahead of the semi-final stage, suspensions are not set to affect France, though Walid Cheddira’s red card in the last round rules him out of a back-up role in the Atlas Lions’ strike force.

Deschamps’ camp have no fitness worries coming into the clash, with Theo Hernandez expected to start on the left side of defence as Jules Kounde holds down the right-hand berth, favoured ahead of Benjamin Pavard.

Olivier Giroud, proving yet again his worth when he headed France’s winner against England in the last eight, will lead the French attack alongside Kylian Mbappe.

For Morocco, fitness preparations have been less than ideal. Captain Romain Saiss was stretchered off in the win over Portugal and is a serious doubt, while fellow centre-half Nayef Aguerd is battling to be fit after missing the quarter-final with an adductor injury.

Latest France vs Morocco Betfred Odds

France To Win and Under 2.5 Goals @ 2/1

Though neutrals may point to the fact that France lost to another North African side in the group stage, Les Bleus’ 1-0 defeat to Tunisia was played under vastly different circumstances.

Wins over Australia and Denmark meant that the 2018 winners were able to take their foot off the gas and reserve energy for the last 16.

And it worked – France were under the cosh for much of the first period against a wasteful Poland, but outlasted their European counterparts comfortably in the end.

Deschamps’ men have reached the last four largely unaffected by the fitness worries that clouded their lead-up to the tournament and there will be no easing off against Morocco.

The Africans will likely be banking on their defensive solidity to get them through again. They have conceded just one goal all tournament, an own goal against Canada. However, keeping out France’s formidable frontmen is a new level of task and Mbappe and co will be fancied to eventually find their way through.

Sofiane Boufal To Be Carded @ 11/4

Angers’ Sofiane Boufal is yet to pick up a caution, but only Sofyan Amrabat has committed more fouls for the Atlas Lions, with eight to the ex-Southampton man’s seven.

No stranger to hearing the whistle blow, the winger has played over an hour in each game so far and his starting place is not seen as under threat. With the stakes higher than ever before, the semi-final could well be the stage at which the 29-year-old’s antics finally incur the wrath of the referee.

Cesar Ramos, overseeing the affair, has awarded seven yellow cards over his three games – including two to Moroccans in the win over Belgium.

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