Portugal v Morocco: Pre-Match talking points

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Portugal will be looking for maximum points against Morocco in the second round of games in Group B.

Fernando Santos’ side opened up their campaign with a thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain. Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick in that clash to shoot to the top of the goalscoring charts.

Morocco lost to Iran in their opening match, conceding a late goal. The Atlas Lions played quite decently in patches and will be relatively hopeful of securing a point.

The Ladbrokes News crew talk look ahead to the game and the big talking points.

Can Ronaldo keep his form going?

Selecao das Quinas’ hopes rest on the shoulders of the Real Madrid striker. Of that, there is no doubt.

The Ballon d’Or holder put in an incredible performance against the Spaniards to bag all three Portugal goals. Morocco will do well to stop the 33-year-old adding to his World Cup tally.

It’s arguable that Ronaldo could even still be in his prime, such is the rate at which he keeps scoring. His game is definitely more refined now. But just try and stop the man scoring goals.

Moroccans will need to up their game

Simply put, the Atlas Lions need at least a point to stay in the competition. Another defeat will mean elimination. And that will surely play on their minds.

Herve Renard’s side were tipped up as the most impressive team from the African qualifiers. And they showed flashes of their talent against Iran.

But they ultimately succumbed to a poor defeat. And Renard will not allow his side to go out of this tournament with a whimper. Expect them to fight tooth and nail in the Luzhniki Stadium.

Silva may get a recall

Andre Silva was expected to start up top alongside Ronaldo against Spain. But Santos pulled a surprise, instead, going with Goncalo Guedes.

However, the Valencia winger just didn’t look a natural fit in a central area. And the Portuguese head coach may opt to go with a more natural fit in Silva this time around.

The AC Milan striker didn’t have the best of seasons at San Siro. But he’s got a good record for the national side and may be given his World Cup bow here.

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Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.