Portugal vs. Morocco
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 20, 2018, 8:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Portugal -196 / Draw +310 / Morocco +679 -- Over/Under: 2.5
We have some group B World Cup action Tuesday morning as Portugal takes on Morocco from the Luzhniki Arena in Moscow.
Portugal will be coming into this one looking to build some steam after earning a hard-fought draw in what could be considered the match of the tournament following a 3-3 draw with Spain in their opening match. Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show, giving Portugal the lead in the 4th minute from the penalty spot and in the 44th minute thanks to a miscue from Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea, and tied the game with one of his patented free kicks for his 51st career hat trick in the 88th minute after falling behind 3-2 in the 58th minute. Portugal were dominated in terms of possession, holding just 38% possession to Spain’s 62%, while being outshot 12-8 with 3 shots on target to Spain’s 5.
Morocco on the other hand will be looking for a big time upset to get points on the board after losing a 1-0 heartbreaker to Iran in their tournament opener. The match looked to be a scoreless draw before forward Aziz Bouhaddouz unluckily headed the ball into his own goal, giving the Iranians the deciding goal 5 minutes into the 6 allotted injury time minutes. The Moroccans thoroughly out possessed Iran, 63%-37%, with 13 shots to Iran’s 8, with 3 shots on goal to Iran’s 2.
These two teams have not met on the international stage since 1986, which ended up as a 3-1 win for Morocco.
I’d really like to give Morocco a chance here, but the fact is that a loss like the one the Moroccans suffered in the opener takes some time to get over and facing the defending European champions followed by a match with one of the best in the world in Spain doesn’t help matters. Ronaldo carried Portugal in the opener and while I’m still expecting him to have a major role in this game, I’m also expecting a more concerted effort from the rest of the squad as I think Portugal cruises to a victory in this one.