Ronaldo stole the show on the second night of the tournament as he netted a hat-trick to write himself further into the record books. An early goal in that clash with Spain led to a wide-open affair but that’s unlikely to be the case here.
Morocco have gone 20 games since they last conceded more than once so they are more than capable of making life difficult for the Portuguese, and in Mehdi Benatia they have a superb centre-back to organise their defence.
Moreover, Portugal simply struggle to beat teams in major tournaments, and their over-reliance on Ronaldo can make them predictable and one-dimensional. They’ve now drawn 12 of their last 17 matches (in normal time) at World Cups, European Championships and Confederation Cups, while dating back to the 2016 Euros they’ve finished all-square in four of seven competitive matches against teams we had ranked 21-50 in the world (we have Morocco at 33rd).
Five of those seven matches against teams ranked 21-50 finished with fewer than three goals as good defensive teams were able to cause them all sorts of problems. That’s the problem they face here and since 2013 Morocco have conceded just eight times in seven matches against teams we had ranked in the world’s top 25, with six seeing fewer than three goals.
While Morocco will be content to sit back and soak up pressure for most of the match, Spain showed that the Portuguese defence was vulnerable, and the North Africans are certainly capable of snatching a goal. Five of their last eight draws against teams we had ranked above them finished 1-1 and that looks worth a punt as a side bet.