Morocco would have to put up a lot of resistance against their three adversaries, Belgium, Croatia and Canada. But that should prove too much for the team formerly managed by Vahid Halilhodzic. The performance of Morocco will depend on whether or not Hakim Ziyech returns to the squad since he has been boycotting the team for several months due to a conflict with the manager. In any case, we have trouble imagining Morrocco getting past the group stage.
This will be the 6th time Morrocco have participated in the final phase of a World Cup. In 1986, Morocco reached the round of 16, which, to this day, is their best performance in a World Cup. They will be hoping to replicate that success this year, even if that will be no easy feat.
The World Cup qualification campaign:
Morocco excelled in their group in the second round of the qualifiers, with 6 wins in as many matches, and only 1 goal conceded against Equatorial Guinea, Guinea and Sudan, who were completely defenceless against the Moroccan domination. In the playoffs, up against the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco managed to keep the score down in the away leg with a draw on Congolese soil (1-1), before comfortably dominating in the home leg (4-1) notably with one goal for the Paris winger Achraf Hakimi.
This team is offensively spectacular et defensively quite solid, which makes Morocco an unpredictable team, since the danger could come from anywhere. Despite the conflict between Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui, though far from being pillars of the group, the African country does not seem to be affected at the moment, judging by the results.
Morocco’s key players :
- Achraf Hakimi (23 years old). Morocco’s most valuable player is coming off a satisfying season with Paris, confirming all the good things we thought about his offensive capabilities. He is regularly a decisive factor for the team, and is a fundamental element of the squad.
- Yassine Bounou (31 years old). Sevilla FC’s guardian is gaining experience with his club as well as with his country. He is amongst the best goalkeepers in the LaLiga and could be one of the rising stars of the next World Cup.
- Romain Saïss (32 years old). Excellent for many seasons now, he is very reliable and disappoints only rarely. He quickly settled into the Moroccan defence, making use of his size to get the better in most duels.