Morocco stunning world football by winning Group F has been rewarded with a round of 16 matchup with Spain.
La Roja started the tournament in dominant form, hammering Costa Rica 7-0, but followed that up by drawing with Germany and suffering a shock defeat to Japan.
Where Luis Enrique’s side are trending in the wrong direction, Morocco laid a foundation by sharing the spoils with Croatia before impressive wins over Belgium and Canada.
This is the first time the Atlas Lions have reached the World Cup knockout rounds since 1986.
Total Goals: Under 2.5
Morocco amassed just 2.4 expected goals in their favour during the group stage. Spain conceded only 5.7 shots per match.
Prior to the World Cup, four of Spain’s last six competitive matches (all in the Nations League) had under 2.5 goals.
The 7-0 thumping of Costa Rica was an anomaly for the Spaniards, and Morocco have seen two or fewer total goals in five of their last eight.
To Win To Nil: Spain
Morocco have failed to score in three of their last nine matches, and five of Spain’s last six wins have been accompanied by a clean sheet.
La Roja are not blessed with the best defensive talent in this tournament, but they are capable of sucking the life out of an opponent with long spells of possession.
Despite failing to win their last two group matches, Spain’s superior quality should shine through here.
Anytime Goalscorer: Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata has taken just 126 World Cup minutes to amass three goals and an assist.
The former Chelsea striker has found the net in all three matches thus far, and looks a good bet to make that four from four.
Spain’s attack can look toothless without Morata as the focal point. Whether starting again or back in the role of supersub, look for the Madrid native to add another to his tally.
All odds are subject to change