The stakes are really high at the Al Bayt Stadium where France take on Morocco for a place in the final of the World Cup. Defending champions France were one of the favourites to win this tournament before a ball was kicked, but can they end the dream run of rank outsiders Morocco?
We’ve compiled an info-laden stats pack to help you tackle those bet builder markets with more confidence. If you want to learn more about how to get the data to work harder for you, check out my Stats Pack Guide.
France have averaged 2.20 goals per match which correlates very closely to their 2.13 xG. They’ve had a legitimately dangerous and free-scoring attack force during this World Cup. Les Bleus have yet to keep a clean sheet and have conceded exactly one goal in each game, which again correlates very closely to their xGA of 1.27. France have fired in an average of 15.60 shots per match with 6.00 SOT, a decent conversion rate.
France have conceded an average of 2.60 SOT per game from a total of 9.40. Didier Deschamps’ men have obtained 6.20 corners per 90 mins and conceded an average of 3.60. In general, Les Bleus have been involved in several clean games and only picked up five total cards in the whole tournament. They’ve managed to draw an average of 1.80 cards per match from their opponents which is quite a mediocre rate.
Morocco average exactly one goal per game in this tournament and have just a 0.92 xG per 90 mins. Defensively, they have conceded only one goal in this World Cup, which was actually an own goal. Their xGA per match is 1.20 though, so they’ve massively overachieved with this metric. Central to their defensive success has been allowing an average of just 1.60 SOT against per game. In total, they’ve done well to only face exactly 9.00 shots per 90 mins.
The Atlas Lions have not been the most free-scoring team and only fired an average of 7.80 shots per game. Their SOT rate is 2.60 so their accuracy is ok. With Morocco, it is very much quality over quantity in terms of shooting.
Their average corners for are astonishingly low (1.20) and this team plays so narrow in the final third, always looking to cut inside that they rarely have the chance to win many corners. On average, they’ve conceded 7.40 corners per game which is above the norm. Overall, Morocco have been involved in several clean games and only picked up 1.20 cards per match as opposed to drawing 1.40 cards from their opponents.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Kylian Mbappé was generally kept quiet by England, but he averages a massive 5.10 shots per 90 mins in this tournament. His SOT rate of 2.32 is generally quite good as well. Olivier Giroud is next on the list averaging 3.71 shots per match, and he has fired in 1.71 SOT from that total. Both Adrien Rabiot and Ousmane Dembele have averaged around two shots per game in this tournament, but their accuracy has not been as strong.
No Morocco player averages more than 0.47 SOT per 90 mins and nobody in their squad has averaged more than two shots per 90 mins. Bench player Sabiri tops the shot list at 1.99 but has yet to trouble the goalkeeper with a single attempt.
The main contenders for shots and SOTs ae the trio of En-Nesyri, Ziyech and Boufal who will likely try at least one attempt each per game. En Nesyri, the goal scorer from the Portugal match and Ziyech have the best SOT rate per 90 mins with 0.47 and 0.40 respectively.
Player Goals and Assists
In Kylian Mbappé and Olivier Giroud, France have two very in-form attackers at this tournament. Mbappé currently leads the Golden Boot race with five goals, whilst Giroud has scored four times from four appearances.
The only other French goalscorers at this World Cup are Adrien Rabiot and of course Aurélien Tchouaméni who scored with a long range hit vs England in the Quarter finals. The impressive Antoine Griezmann leads the French for assists with three, whilst both Mbappé and Dembele have each supplied two goals.
Only four Morocco players have scored goals at this tournament and Sevilla striker En-Nesyri tops the charts with two. Both Ziyech and Aboukhlal have netted one goal each. The trio of Hakimi, Sabiri and Attiat Allah have shared the assists with one each.
It has generally been a very clean World Cup for France. Only five players have picked up yellow cards and only three players, Tchouaméni, Hernández and Dembele average over 1 foul per 90 mins. It is worth mentioning that three of their five cards did come vs England in the quarter final though and we are at the stage of a tournament where players will be tested more and sometimes get desperate.
Sofiane Boufal is the most fouled player at this tournament for Morocco at an average of 2.82 times per 90 mins. Right back Achraf Hakimi is arguably the best player in the side and has been fouled close to an average of twice per game. He could give Theo Hernández several problems when he gets forward. The other two Morocco players of significance who have been fouled a lot are Ounahi (2.04) and Amallah (1.67) who will both come up against Aurélien Tchouaméni in this fixture.
Matchups to watch:
Theo Hernández vs Achraf Hakimi
Azzedine Ounahi vs Aurélien Tchouaméni
Sofiane Boufal vs Jules Kounde
Midfielder Sofiane Amrabat averages 1.89 fouls per 90 mins and has obtained one card. His midfield battle with Aurélien Tchouaméni will be one of the keys to the match. Centre back Achraf Dari averages 2.50 fouls per 90 mins, whilst Hakim Ziyech has done well to evade any bookings so far considering he has fouled 2.16 times per match. His matchup with Theo Hernández could be feisty for both players.
Left back Theo Hernández is surprisingly the French player who has drawn the most fouls from the opposition, at an average of 2.05 per 90 mins. Kylian Mbappé has been fouled 1.63 times on average per game, perhaps less than most would expect. He was generally handled well by Kyle Walker in the previous match vs England.
All eyes will be on his battle with PSG teammate Achraf Hakimi which promises to be enthralling. In midfield Aurélien Tchouaméni will certainly get stuck in and has been fouled 1.52 times per 90 mins. Despite his elusiveness and trickery, Dembele has been fouled less than one time per 90 mins (0.95).
Matchups to watch:
Achraf Hakimi vs Kylian Mbappé
Hakim Ziyech vs Theo Hernández
Sofiane Amrabat vs Aurélien Tchouaméni
The French have not been a huge passing team at this World Cup. Les Bleus are only averaging 55% of the ball which is not that much compared to some other sides. In big matches they are happy to let the opposition have a lion’s share of possession. Only two French players average more than 70 shots per 90 mins and that is Upamecano (70.8) and Aurélien Tchouaméni (7.2). The trio of Hernández, Kounde and Griezmann all average close to the 65 mark for passes per 90 mins.
Morocco have only averaged 32% possession in this tournament which is the least of any side apart from Costa Rica. Their style is very much soak up pressure and then counter-attack. Only one of their players, Achraf Hakimi averages more than 40 passes per 90 mins (48.00) with the next nearest being Amrabat who averages 35.8.
This is not a team expected to pass the ball too much, although they face a French side who are not massively possession hungry so it will be interesting to see how the match unfolds.