Morocco vs Spain Prediction: Look for the World Cup clash early on Tuesday

World Cup Group E was a mess, but when the dust settled, Spain finished second behind Japan, arguably the real winners of the group stage.

Finishing second to Japan not only meant that La Furia Roja played Morocco in the round of 16 instead of Croatia, but also that Spain avoided a possible quarter-final clash with Brazil.

Interesting developments in Spain World Cup odds though they lost to Japan in their final round-robin match.

Difference between Morocco and Spain

Spain are -410 favorites to beat Morocco FanDuel it’s tuesday Kickoff is at 10:00 a.m. ET on Fox.

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Spain's Gavi is under pressure from Japan's Hidemasa Morita at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Spain’s Gavi is under pressure from Japan’s Hidemasa Morita at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Getty Images

Spain and Morocco estimate

Although punters have pegged Spain as heavy favorites over the Lions of Atlas, it would be foolish to ignore the Moroccans. The Atlas Lions were the top team in Group F, beating Croatia, Belgium and Canada to qualify for the playoffs.

Morocco’s performances may not look impressive on paper, but much of it can be determined by how their group has rocked. The Atlas Lions finished with seven points and a +3 goal differential (4 GF, 1 GA), but their key figures showed they were lucky. Morocco conceding just 2.4 expected goals and giving up 2.8 xG against them.

But these numbers need more context. Against Croatia, Morocco executed a terrible game plan and held the checkers to just 0.5 xG. The Atlas Lions followed up that performance with a 2-0 win over Belgium, with the expected goals ending at 1.5 to 1.0 in favor of the North Africans. Thus, in two games where Morocco had to sit back and defend, the Lions of Atlas scored 1.9 expected goals and conceded 1.5 goals. It’s impressive.

Referee Raphael Klaus 2-R changes the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Group F match between Canada and Morocco.
Referee Raphael Klaus 2-R changes the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Group F match between Canada and Morocco.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima

Should you bet on the World Cup?

Spain is on a different level compared to Croatia and Belgium, but La Furia Roja has similar flaws. Able to squeeze the life out of a game with their passing ability and solid play, Spain will look to control the tempo of this game from kick-off to the final whistle, dominating possession.

But that suits Morocco well, who can take advantage of La Furia Roja’s inability to defend in transition. We’ve seen both Germany and Japan force Spain into mistakes that lead to goals, and Morocco should be able to do the same.

After holding Costa Rica to zero on 0.0 expected goals, Spain conceded three times against Germany and Japan, allowing 2.7 xG. There is probably no better team on the ball than La Furia Roja. But when they don’t have the ball, they can be had.

Spain and Morocco

Morocco +300 (FanDuel)

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