Morocco are back participating at a World Cup for the first time in 20 years with their last involvement being at France 1998 where they were eliminated from the tournament in the group stage. The North African side has been a major disappointment in recent World Cup qualifying campaigns and have also underwhelmed in their participation at recent African Cup of Nations tournaments.
The ‘Lions from the Atlas’ found themselves in a tricky Russia 2018 qualifying group paired with Gabon, Mali and Ivory Coast. Despite strong opponents they performed admirably with no goals scored against and comfortably overcame the potential banana-skin that required Renard’s men to secure a point away to Ivory Coast in a game where they dominated the East Africa nation recording a 0-2 win.
|DOB: 30/09/1968||Preferred system: 4-2-3-1|
|Matches: 20||W/D/L: 10/5/5|
French born coach Hervé Renard is well known for his offensive style of play using creative players in the central and wide areas of the pitch. His teams are also solid defensively as an overall balance of three wins and three draws attested in qualifying with eleven goals for and zero goals conceded for the ‘Lions from the Atlas’.
Real Madrid’s Achraf Hakimi has established himself as a key player for the Moroccan side despite his young age but how far realistically the North African side can progress at the Russia World Cup will depend on the performances of key players such as Boussoufa and Belhanda.
|DOB: 24/01/1987||Age: 30||Position: Forward||Club: Leganés|
|Height: 179 cm||Weight: 73 kg||Caps: 40||Goals: 4|
Nordin Amrabat has yet to properly establish himself at any of the club sides he has spent time with and this despite the players ability to influence change in a match with his lightning burst of pace and ability to take the ball past his opponents.
From his time with Turkish SuperLig side Galatasaray to his time on loan at Malaga where he played some of his best club football scoring six goals during the 2014/15 campaign, Amrabat has undergone an inconsistent club career. He was sent to Premier League side Watford on-loan where he played in 44 games for the ‘Hornets’ and now the 30-year-old winger finds himself back in LaLiga with Leganes and an in-form Amrabat will be vital for Morocco to surprise the odds and make it out of Group B.