Morocco manager Walid Regragui has shown his confidence in Achraf Hakimi as he faces France’s Kylian Mbappe in their FIFA World Cup clash tomorrow (14 December).
The two sides are set to face off at the Al Bayt Stadium in the semi-finals of the tournament.
While Les Bleus are the favorites on paper, the Atlas Lions have proven that they are no pushovers reaching the final four. They have conceded just one goal in five matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup – an own goal by Nayef Aguerd against Canada.
FIFA WORLD CUP
Sun, 11 Dec
France, meanwhile, have scored 11 goals in five matches and Mbappe has been their main goalscoring threat. He leads the FIFA World Cup goalscoring charts with five goals.
The France vs Morocco clash will see the winger face off directly against his Paris Saint-Germain teammate and friend Hakimi. Ahead of the game, the Atlas Lions manager has shown confidence in his right-back to stop the former AS Monaco winger.
Regragui acknowledged Mbappe’s abilities but also claimed that France have many other threats like Antoine Greizmann as well.
He said (via Get French Football News):
“We won’t make an anti-Mbappé plan because unfortunately, there isn’t just him. When we know the level of Antoine Griezmann between the lines… but Hakimi is a big champion so I’m not worried.”
Speaking on the upcoming battle between Mbappe and Hakimi, Regragui said:
“They are two champions, who won’t be giving away any gifts. Achraf is highly motivated to beat his friend.”
ACHRAF HAKIMI. 🏽
France and Morocco’s route to the 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finals
Didier Deschamps’ side were considered one of the favorites by many to defend their FIFA World Cup title.
They started brilliantly as well, beating Australia 4-1 and Denmark 2-1. They then suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against Tunisia in their final group game.
Les Bleus then comfortably saw off Poland in the Round of 16 before beating England 2-1 in the quarter-finals. While Mbappe has scored five goals for France, Olivier Giroud has chipped in with four goals while Greizmann has made them tick throughout.
Morocco, meanwhile, have surprised everyone by becoming the first African team to reach the FIFA World Cup semi-finals.
They topped their group, beating Belgium and Canada and taking a point off Croatia. The Atlas Lions then beat Spain on penalties in the Round of 16 before eliminating Portugal in the quarter-finals.
The likes of Sofyan Amrabat, Hakim Ziyech and Romain Saiss have been exceptional for Regragui’s side.
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