13/07/2024

Preview: Morocco vs. Zambia - prediction, team news, lineups

Hace 1 meses

Preview: Morocco vs. Zambia - prediction, team news, lineups

football morocco world cup preview preview morocco vs zambia prediction team news lineups 545252

football morocco world cup preview preview morocco vs zambia prediction team news lineups 545252

Adrar Stadium hosts Morocco's Group E World Cup qualifying match with Zambia on Friday.

Walid Regragui's men only played one fixture in November 2023 following Eritrea's withdrawal, and they seek to make it two wins from two when they welcome the Copper Bullets to Agadir in a rematch of the pair's group-stage encounter at the Africa Cup of Nations.


Match preview

Morocco coach Walid Regragui reacts on January 30, 2024© Reuters

Morocco return to competitive action months after their shock exit to Africa Cup of Nations semi-finalists South Africa, keen to create separation in the race to make the World Cup.

The Atlas Lions were tipped to win the continental showpiece in Cote d'Ivoire, only to exit in the first knockout round but Regragui and his team hope to move on from that January loss.

Africa's highest-ranked side already played out a pair of non-competitive fixtures in March, defeating Angola (1-0) and playing out a goalless game with Amir Abdou's Mauritania, with little riding on both fixtures.

Friday's competitive match could see Morocco move three points clear of their opponents, and possibly three clear of Niger, who are away against Congo heading into June 11's trip to Kinshasa.

Having made African and Arab history at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Regragui's men aim to avoid the ignominy of missing out in 2026, adding to the pressure before rounds three and four of qualifiers.

For their part, Zambia are unfancied to secure a positive result in Morocco or make it to the 2026 finals, having never participated at any World Cup.

Avram Grant aims to be the first manager to make Chipolopolo history, but the Central African nation must bounce back from the 2-1 defeat suffered in Niger in the second round in qualifying last November.

That loss followed a 4-2 home triumph over Congo Republic in the opening round, laying a foundation to work with for the rest of their ambitious World Cup chase.

The last meeting between these nations was held in Cote d'Ivoire and was decided by Hakim Ziyech's first-half strike, thus eliminating the Copper Bullets after three games.

That outcome seems likely for a nation with three consecutive away defeats in World Cup qualifying — four defeats in five (one win) — possibly seeing Grant's men fall behind in qualifying.

Morocco World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • W


Morocco form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D


Zambia World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • W
  • L


Zambia form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W



Team News

Morocco players pose for a team group photo before the match on January 30, 2024© Reuters

Morocco's star-studded group can hurt Zambia in several ways, underlined by threats from out wide or through the middle.

Achraf Hakimi offers menace from full-back, Brahim Diaz and Azzedine Ounahi can hurt the Copper Bullets in central areas and Ziyech and Amine Adli are threatening from wide positions.

Olympiacos' Europa Conference League hero, Ayoub El Kaabi's participation from the off is uncertain, as Regragui typically favours Youssef En-Nesyri.

Patson Daka is expected to lead the Zambia attack on Friday, even if supporters will worry for the Leicester City frontman, who has not scored since a friendly against Malawi in late March.

Regulars like Lawrence Mulenga and Stoppila Sunzu are in the group, but Lecce's Lameck Banda misses out because of a knee injury.

Fashion Sakala will play no part after a reported falling out with Grant, while Clatous Chama also misses out.


Morocco possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Saibari; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Adli

Zambia possible starting lineup:
Mulenga; Mwape, Sunzu, L. Banda, Musonda; Kangwa, Kapumbu, E. Banda; Chilufya, Daka, Mutale


SM words green background

We say: Morocco 2-0 Zambia

Given the superior match-winning quality available to Regragui, Morocco should make the most of playing in front of their supporters to record maximum points at Zambia's expense and pull clear of the Copper Bullets in Group E.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


ID:545252:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect10511:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole's daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!


Ver noticia en Trending

Temas Relacionados: