Cristiano Ronaldo’s powered Portugal will be up against Morocco. The encounter will be crucial for Morocco who lost their opener against Iran as Portugal powered past Spain with Ronaldo hitting a hatrick.
With a scintillating performance against Spain last week, Portugal would be eyeing a top-16 finish. Thus, this game will prove to be crucial for Portugal in the context of their survival in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Morocco will enter the encounter with an aim no less than a victory. The shocking 1-0 defeat against Iran have put them in back seat as they will be playing their remaining matches against two competitive sides.
Cristiano Ronaldo was seen in some sense of unease in the game against Spain. However, he is expected to get back to the groove ahead of the crucial encounter against Morocco.
Nordin Amrabat of Morocco might miss the encounter after suffering the concussion in the game against Iran.
Head-to-head in World Cups
Portugal 0 – 1 Morocco. This will be the only second time when Portugal and Morocco will be up against each other in a FIFA World Cup. The last time when both the teams contested each other, Morocco had the upper hand as they won the match 3-1.
Portugal Probable Starting XI
Rui Patricio, Cedric, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, William, Joao Moutinho, Bernardo Silva, Joao Mario, Andre Silva, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Morocco Probable Starting XI
Monir El Kajoui, Achraf Hakimi, Ghanem Saiss, Mehdi Benatia, Hamza Mendyl, Karim El Ahmadi, Hakim Ziyach, Mbark Boussoufa, Younes Belhanda, Noureddine Amrabat, and Khalid Boutaib.
Stats to look into ahead of the encounter:
Portugal’s only loss against African opposition at the FIFA World Cup has come against Morocco.
Ever since 2002 FIFA World Cup, Portugal has never lost a game against a non-European country.
In last 10 World Cup group matches, Portugal has lost only match which came against Germany in 2014.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Spain in Portugal’s previous group game made him the oldest player in the history of the World Cup to score a hat-trick of goals.
Having scored an own-goal against Iran, Aziz Bouhaddouz of Morocco became the only third substitute player to score an own-goal in the history of FIFA World Cup