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Cinderella vs. The Reigning Champs ⚽️

Morocco is on the verge of the most surprising finals appearance in World Cup history, but not if France has anything to say about it. With Argentina awaiting the winner, today's semifinal should be a good one 🏆 (4 min read)

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Semifinal Action Continues

Remember when Messi vs. Ronaldo used to be a debate? Well, one came off the bench for a Portugal team that was ousted in the quarterfinals, while the other just helped punch Argentina's ticket to another World Cup title match. If it wasn't already, I'd say that debate is now officially settled 🐐

  • Messi and his teammate Julian Alvarez were absolutely masterful yesterday, combining for all three goals as Argentina defeated Croatia 3-0 in the first World Cup semifinal matchup. If you didn't get the chance to watch, words won't do it justice — you're gonna wanna check out the highlights 🤯

Aside from Messi and Alvarez, only one other pair of teammates has combined for nine goals this tournament, and they just so happen to be playing in the other semifinal match going down this afternoon. Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud will look to stay hot as France takes on Morocco today - here's how the lines look 👇

  • Odds To Advance: France -430 (bet $430, win $100), Morocco +310 (bet $100, win $310)

  • Over/Under: 2.5 Goals

  • When: 2PM EST on FOX

France has five goals over the last two games, with Mbappe and Giroud accounting for four of them, but Morocco has yet to allow a goal in the knockout stage. Something's gotta give, and I'm leaning the way of the French 🇫🇷

Trivia Question: Since 1974, only one player has scored more than six goals in a World Cup tournament. Who was it?

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

Tale Of The Tape

It's hard to imagine how a World Cup semifinal match could qualify as a David vs. Goliath matchup, but today's meeting between France and Morocco comes pretty darn close 👀

  • On one end is the perennial soccer juggernaut in France, the reigning Word Cup champions who entered the tournament with top-four odds to win once again, despite missing several key players due to injury

  • Then there's Morocco, a nation ranked 22nd in FIFA rankings, with just one previous appearance in the knockout stage...a Round-of-16 loss back in 1986 😳

At the start of the tournament, Morocco was +1000 to win Group F, which they did, and +20000 long-shots to win the whole thing. Now, they're just two wins away from turning a hypothetical $100 bet into $20K 💰

  • So was Morocco severely slept-on as a legitimate threat, or is this Cinderella run simply a product of World Cup magic? The answer is probably a little bit of both

  • The run has certainly been anything but fluky, as they've beaten some of the best teams in the world (Belgium, Spain and most recently, Portugal) en route to their semifinals appearance, the first EVER by an African country

  • There's also no doubt this team is absolutely dominant on defense; in fact, the only goal they've allowed this entire tournament was actually scored by themselves 😂

The electric French attack will be the latest to attempt to break down the brick wall that is the Moroccan defense, and call it a hunch, but I think they'll actually be able to succeed

  • I like the chances of Mbappe (+135) and/or Giroud (+195) finding the back of the net at some point, but even if Morocco's game-plan is to shut down that dynamic duo, there are so many other players who can hurt you. Marcus Thuram, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele; the list goes on and on

  • All said, eight French players have better odds of scoring a goal today than the top Moroccan player, and that doesn't even include 22-year-old Aurelien Tchouameni (+1000), who kicked off the scoring in the quarterfinal win over England with a beautiful strike ⬇️

Tchouameni's goal in such a crucial game is a testament to how balanced the offense is when it needs to be. Morocco has passed every test they've faced so far, but the France team we've seen over the past two games will be their toughest challenge yet 😤

Who advances?

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Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

For My Parlay Gurus

As much as I hate to see Morocco's miraculous run come to an end, I think France gets one step closer to a repeat today, while also setting up one heck of a one-on-one showdown in the finals 👑

The French are heavy favorites to advance at -440, but a more reasonable -185 to win in regulation. I think they do just that, with Mbappe picking up a tournament-leading sixth goal. Here's my parlay 👇

  • France ML vs. Morocco: -185

  • Kylian Mbappe Anytime Goal Scorer: +135

$100 on this bet would win you $262 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win up to $100*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: Brazilian great Ronaldo scored eight goals during the 2002 World Cup, as he helped his country win their fifth (and most recent) World Cup title

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