• World Cup 2022

How will Morocco counter Kylian Mbappe at the World Cup?

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The North Africans will enter their World Cup semi-final against France and Kylian Mbappe as the clear underdogs.

Morocco coach Walid Regragui will rely on Achraf Hakimi to deal with Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final tie against France.

The Atlas Lions hope to add another page to their World Cup underdog success story by becoming the first African nation to reach the final when they meet the title holders at the  Al Bayt Stadium.

However, while keeping an in-form Mbappe quiet is arguably essential for Morocco, Regragui insists he has no special plan to counter the World Cup’s leading scorer.

“[Achraf] knows Mbappe better than me, he trains with him daily. I’m sure he is better placed than I am to know Kylian,” the Atlas Lions coach told reporters at a pre-match press conference.

“I’m not going to set up a plan to counter Mbappe. Unfortunately for us, France have other great players. [Antoine] Griezmann is on his game, and [Ousmane] Dembele on the other wing is a great complement to Mbappe.

“To focus on Mbappe would be a mistake. Hakimi is one of the best in the world in his position too so it will be a great duel between two champions, both going at it hell for leather. We shouldn’t focus on Kylian but on how we will cause problems for France. I’m sure Hakimi will be on top of his game.”

At the time of writing, Morocco enter the semi-final with only a 13% chance of beating France. Bet365 has priced an underdog win for the North Africans at 7.50. For stats and betting tips, check out the World Cup match preview on Ace Football here.