Morocco VS Portugal | WATCH HERE


Morocco and Portugal will meet for a place in the semi-finals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, with the well-supported Atlas Lions' aiming to pull off another stunning giant-killing.

Morocco have been the surprise package in Qatar. Their incredible route to the Fifa World Cup quarter-finals has seen them topple the group F that contained established European establishments as Croatia and Belgium before taking down the ultimate giant in Spain in the round of 16.

Walid Regragui’s battle-hardened side held uninspiring La Roja to a scoreless draw before beating them 3-0 on penalties, thanks in large part to the goalkeeping exploits of Yassine Bounou, who was impregnable on the day.

Already the furthest they have ever been at finals and carrying a continent's hopes, the Atlas' Lions have the opportunity to script history on Saturday by becoming the first African team to qualify for the semi-final of a World Cup tournament.

However, standing in their way is a Portuguese side who just brushed aside the previously conceived streetwise Swiss 6-1 to cruise through to the quarter-finals.

The Euro 2016 winners had been solid if unspectacular in the group phase, but they released the handbrake in their first knockout game.

While many fans were left stunned by Portugal manager Fernando Santos' decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting XI for either tactical or disciplinary reasons, the move eventually paid off and turned out to be a masterstroke as Ronaldo's replacement Goncalo Ramos became the first player since 2002 to bag a World Cup hat-trick on his first start.

He also snapped the treble drought at this year's edition, where there are raining braces but the third one was elusive. Given how admirably Ramos performed against Switzerland, it doesn't look like Ronaldo will be in the playing XI here.

Either ways, Portugal enter the contest as heavy favourites thanks to the embarrasment of riches they have in their attacking ranks. While Morocco are clearly the underdogs here, they will have outpouring support from Arabs, Africans, and neutrals within the stadium, rooting for them to take yet another scalp.

Morocco vs Portugal confirmed lineups

Morocco XI (4-3-3): Bounou; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Saiss, Attiyat-Allah; Amrabat, Ounahi, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal

Portugal XI (4-3-3): Costa; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Neves, Silva, Otávio; Fernandes, Félix, Ramos

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