WORLD CUP WEDNESDAY: The Ultra previews Wednesday’s second semi-final in the World Cup between FRANCE v MOROCCO including a recommended BETDAQ bet.


7pm The FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals continue on Wednesday as France meet Morocco on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. It’s fair to say that not many football fans would have expected to see Morocco at this stage of the competition, but they have managed to come through and top a Group with Belgium and Croatia, beat Spain on penalties and then deal with Portugal. They’ve had to grind out results and battle very hard, but credit to them. When the draw came out, you could have pretty much mapped out France to be here – their only major danger was the England game in the Quarter-Finals (which was fantastic viewing!) and I’m sure French fans will be delighted with a Semi-Final against Morocco. It could have been Spain after the Group stage, or pre-tournament they were probably thinking maybe Belgium or Germany the way things could have worked out.

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Even though France will no doubt be happy with the draw; they won’t be taking Morocco lightly. They have shown what a top class side they are, and they have clearly been tough to break down. In Tuesday’s Semi-Final, I remarked how Croatia were lucky to be there when you look at the xG figures. They conceded very high figures against Belgium and Brazil, but managed to hang on for 0-0 draws (in normal time). That hasn’t been the case with Morocco – they have been absolutely rock solid at the back. They have conceded xG figures of 0.90, 1.23, 0.92, 1.55 and 1.54. That’s a total xG conceded of 6.14 for the tournament to date which is a very respectable figure considering the sides they have played to get here.

Compare that to France, who have conceded a total xG of 6.35 which is actually higher than Morocco but they have had a much easier draw to get here. Obviously we have the England game, but other than that France had a very easy Group and were even able to rest players for their final Group game. They then got Poland who haven’t been at their best for a while now and obviously England can say they were a little unlucky given Kane missed a late penalty for a draw. England did finish the game with a high xG figure, but you’d probably expect that given they had two penalties.

Where we have a huge difference between the sides here is going forward. Morocco’s total xG created is just 4.06. France had a figure higher than that in their first game of the tournament – they finished the Australia win with an xG of 4.59. Their total xG created is 10.85 and that’s including the Tunisia game where they played their second XI basically. What I would say about France is that they have conceded a higher xG than they have created in their two knockout games, and that would definitely make you think twice about lumping on them here at odds on.

France come into this game fully expected to win by pretty much everyone – the media, the casual football fan and the experts. That’s a lot of pressure, and how they deal with Morocco being so solid at the back will be interesting viewing. Despite the pressure, there’s no getting away from the fact that France are rightly odds on favourites. The match odds at the time of writing are currently trading; France 1.55, Morocco 8.3 and draw is 4.0. I don’t have a very strong view on the match odds market, but the 1.55 does feel a little short.

You can make your excuses and say that Belgium, Spain and Portugal weren’t at their best – but the reality is Morocco stopped them all from playing their game. I couldn’t put anyone off having a small lay on France at the odds, just because I expect a closer game than the odds suggest. However, I feel the best option here is Under 2.5 goals at 1.7. As I said above, France have conceded a higher xG than they created in their two knockout games which is concerning and given how solid Morocco have been at the back I see a very cagey affair. Perhaps France can grind out a 1-0 or 2-0 win, but Under 2.5 goals looks a very good bet at the odds. I’m not going to go too mad on the stakes though, because we all know how dangerous France can be; however let’s give Morocco some credit – they have been superb.

The Ultra Says:
Two points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.7 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

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