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Nearly 50,000 Morocco fans expected to greet France with wall of noise in World Cup semifinal

When Morocco takes to the pitch Wednesday night against France in the World Cup semifinals, they'll do so as 6/1 outsiders against the defending world champions. But one advantage the record-setting African side will have is nearly the entire backing of the 68,895 capacity Al-Bayt Stadium.

Morocco has enjoyed the best "home" support in Qatar with stadiums turned into a sea of green-and-red-clad fans wherever they go. The hottest semifinal ticket isn't the duel between Lionel Messi's Argentina and Luka Modrić's Croatia, it's a chance at witnessing a miracle in Al Khor as thousands of Moroccans take over the city along with the support of almost every African, Arab and neutral worldwide. 

According to CBS Sports, over 45,000 Moroccans will be inside Al Bayt Stadium. The numbers have been swelled by the Moroccan Football Federation giving away 13,000 free tickets and the nation's national airline organizing 30 chartered flights to Qatar.

"We have the best fans in the world along with Argentines and Brazilians," said Morocco manager Walid Regragui. "We're going to play like being at home and that's the most important thing in the world."

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There's growing belief that the Atlas Lions — having only conceded a single own goal all tournament — are impenetrable and France — having conceded once in every game — are there for the taking.

But Les Bleus are built for these moments and while acknowledging the hostile reception they'll receive, they welcome the adversity in their camp.

"They're benefiting from a huge support, I've seen this and my observers have told me about it," said France manager Didier Deschamps. "We know it's going to be extremely noisy, it's part of the context and we'll have to be ready for it. Good for them. We have to prepare for the game, but also for the environment of the game."

After looking like Kylian Mbappé's Globetrotters, France showed its strength of depth against England with 22-year-old defensive midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni scoring from range and Olivier Giroud snapping at Mbappé's heels in the Golden Boot race.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris also had his match of the tournament with six saves.

"We're going to have to be ready for the noise," Lloris said on Tuesday. "I admire and respect what they've done here, they owe nothing to chance, they finished top of their group. They have a lot of qualities on and off the pitch, in terms of cohesion. The environment will be hostile but we're getting ready, calmly. We'll have to be ready to up our level one more time."

Kick-off in the United States is at 2 p.m. ET on FOX and Telemundo.

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