World Cup Preview: Portugal v Morocco

Who? Portugal - Morocco
Where? Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
When? June 20, 14:00 (CET local time)

Portugal (Yossi Medina)

Portugal can be satisfied from their first match. They managed to end with a draw after long time that they saw a Spanish lead. The major headline is of course the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hattrick and showed to everyone that he came to Russia in order to lead Portugal.

Ronaldo can break one of the most iconic records in football history, as his next goal will be the 85th international goal in Ronaldo's career. If he will do so, he will be the European international top scorer, breaking the historic 56-years-old record of Ferenc Puskás.

If Fernando Santos dreams about the next stage, he will need to lead Portugal to six points in the next two games. Morocco will be the first rivals and sometimes it may considered as an easy rival. Portuguese history could decline easily it, as Portugal remember the 1:3 defeat against Morocco in 1986 World Cup.

Santos also knows that winning is not always the most important, after all he won the Euro two years ago without winning a single group stage match. This time he couldn't afford himself to drop more points if he wants to qualify for the next stage from the first place.

Morocco (Uri Levy)

After the loss to Iran, the disappointed Moroccan side is heading to Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for a last chance to save the tournament.

Morocco, who promised a lot during the qualification without any loss and 0 goals conceded, hoped to be in much a stronger position after the game against Iran, but all of a sudden - the Persians are up with three points while the Moroccans stayed with nothing, despite producing a great game. “We came all the way here to watch our team making history and go far”, Bilal Selimi, a Moroccan fan, told BabaGol while in St. Petersburg before the ride to Moscow.

As for the line-up, Herve Renard plans few changes in the first eleven who started against Iran, and Ayoub El-Kaabi is planned to be benched in favour of Khalid Boutaib - who was not so long ago the favourite of the coach. Nordin Amrabat, who suffered a concussion against Iran has left the hospital, but will be sidelined against the Portuguese. The midfield that worked so well last match is likely to continue.

In defence, Manuel Da Costa has suffered an injury in training and he is in doubt. Morocco brought only four defenders to the tournament, and in this case it would be interesting in which formation Renard will play. Aziz Bouhaddouz is still suffering from that own goal he notched in, which cost his team a point. It will be interesting to see how Renard treat him, and will he play to over come the trauma.

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