On Tuesday afternoon, Morocco and Spain go face-to-face to earn themselves a place in the last eight of the World Cup.Morocco form guide
Without a doubt, Morocco has been one of the surprise packages in Qatar, finishing top of their group while picking up seven points. The north African team finished above well-fancied European duo Croatia and Belgium in Group F, with the latter finishing third place in the group and suffering elimination.
A 2-1 win over Canada in their final group game not only saw Morocco book their place in the last 16 but also extend their unbeaten record in international football to nine games.
One of Morocco’s main strengths of late has been in defence, as Walid Regragui’s team has kept clean sheets in six of their previous seven matches.Spain form guide
La Roja qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup by finishing second place in Group E, two points behind surprise group winners Japan. Luis Enrique’s team suffered a controversial 2-1 defeat against Japan in their final group game but qualified courtesy of a vastly superior goal difference to Germany.
The defeat against Japan ended a four-game unbeaten run for Spain, including three wins and a draw.
Spain’s defeat against the Blue Samurai also extended a poor recent run of form at the World Cup. The 7-0 hammering of Costa Rica in their opening group game is their only win in five matches in the competition.Latest team news
Morocco has no reported injury problems ahead of this clash, so they could name an unchanged starting line-up.
Spain’s only problem is doubt over the fitness of Chelsea’s veteran star Cesar Azpilicueta. The defender was substituted at half-time against Japan last time out.What am I backing?
Morocco will not be an easy opponent for Spain, who are the favourites to progress to the quarter-finals. I believe this will be a tight encounter, and that is why I am backing under 2.5 goals scored as my prediction.