Morocco v Spain: Go low as Morocco eye another scalp
Morocco v Spain betting odds, tips and predictions
Morocco were the surprise winners of a World Cup 2022 group featuring Belgium and Croatia but have hardly been rewarded as they face Spain in the round of 16.
The north Africans reached the knockout stage in impressive style but Spain’s surprise defeat by Japan has set up this intriguing tie.
Tuesday’s match at Education City Stadium kicks off at 3pm.
More to come from Morocco?
Morocco are through to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time in 36 years and fully deserve to be there.
A goalless draw with 2018 runners-up Croatia showed they were not just in Qatar to make up the numbers before a stunning 2-0 win against Belgium blew Group F wide open.
A 2-1 win against Canada saw their run of six successive clean sheets end but they did enough to claim top spot and head coach Walid Regragui has promised more is to come from his side, who are 29/10 to qualify and 11/2 to win in 90 minutes.
He said: “We didn’t come just to play or to say ‘oh, we almost got close’. Of course we want to play our own game. Our first half, the way we played, we will duplicate it. But this is not the time for this.
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“We need to get the results and do as all European or South American teams do, Argentina, France. We need to emulate them.
“We needed to duplicate the play of European teams with our own values, so we needed to marry and mix the two. We need to actually, in the future, have the rigorous, tactical approach with the European style with our own identity. And, if we did this, we would win.”
Morocco are proving hard to break down, with Canada’s goal being an own goal, and there are still concerns over whether Spain are ruthless enough given the possession they enjoy.
No pain for Spain despite defeat
Spain’s shock defeat by Japan in the final round of matches saw them finish as runners-up in Group E but no real harm was done.
Regardless of how the draw has panned out, coach Luis Enrique was not happy with the way his team conceding two goals early in the second half having looked in total control when leading 1-0 at half-time.
“We are classified for the round of 16, which was the goal, but I am not happy at all,” said Enrique.
“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.
“Yes, we are qualified, but I would have liked to be on top of the group and of course now the brackets (of the draw) change and many things are different.”
Spain are 8/15 favourites to win in 90 minutes but conceded a late equaliser against Germany and then fell apart against Japan.
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All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication