On Tuesday, December 6, the Spanish national team will play Morocco in the 1/8 final match of the 2022 World Cup. The match starts at 17:00 Kyiv time. The match will take place in Al Rayyan at the stadium “Education City”, the main referee is the Argentinean Fernando Rapallini.
The Moroccan national team can rightly be called one of the main sensations of the group stage of the current World Cup. Valid Regraga’s team scored 7 points and took first place in the group with two medalists from the previous World Cup – finalist Croatia and bronze medalist Belgium. Moreover, if in a full-time match they parted with the Croats in a goalless draw, then Belgium was beaten with a score of 2:0. Morocco qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup for only the second time in its history, repeating the 1986 record.
7 points, first place in a far from the easiest group – that’s all, of course, very cool. But this result should not be misleading. The performance of the Morocco national team in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup is a classic example of what is called “overperformance”. In terms of xG, the Moroccans did not win a single match in their group and finished last in their quartet in terms of total xG over three matches. Regraga’s wards showed an incredible realization of scoring chances, which indicates either an incredible level of skill of the attacking players, or banal luck. And for some reason the second option looks closer to the truth. And luck tends to run out at some point.
The Spanish national team at the group stage of the 2022 World Cup left a very mixed impression. In the first round, the team of Luis Enrique defeated Costa Rica with a score of 7:0, after which many wrote it down as one of the top favorites for the World Cup in Qatar. After that there was a draw with a solid game with Germany and a 1:2 defeat by Japan in the third round. Many accuse Furia Rohu of deliberately “leaking” the Bundestim from the championship in the match with the Japanese and choosing a lighter grid for the playoffs.
To believe in conspiracy theories or not is a personal matter for everyone. But a fact is a fact: of the three matches of Spain in Qatar, each next one was worse than the previous one – both in terms of the content of the game and in terms of the result. At Euro 2020, Luis Enrique’s team started pale, but added during the tournament, this time, it is quite possible that everything will be the other way around. Although it is possible that from the playoff stage the Spaniards will again play at the maximum of their potential. Moreover, Fury Roja is one of the very few teams at the current World Cup that was lucky to get through the group stage without any serious personnel losses.
The national teams of Morocco and Spain have previously met each other three times in history. The last time this happened was at the 2018 World Cup, where the teams drew 2-2 in the group stage. Before that, two matches back in November 1961 in the selection for the 1962 World Cup ended in victory for Spain – 1:0 and 3:2.
Forecast for confrontation
The Moroccan national team in the group stage already jumped above their heads. We venture to suggest that at the stage of the 1/8 finals, the path of the African team to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be completed. The same opinion is shared by the bookmakers, who consider Spain the clear favorite of the match. Our bet is the victory of Spain in regular time, the odds are 1.6.
December 6, Tuesday
Morocco – Spain
Al Rayyan. Education City Stadium. 17:00 TV broadcast on MEGOGO video service Forecast Aroged — 1:2