2018 World Cup Preview – Morocco

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Morocco do not try to hide their identity as a defensively oriented team that will look to frustrate opponents into submission.

Morocco World Cup Betting Markets

Stage of Elimination

  • Group Stage @ $1.17
  • Round of 16 @ $6.00
  • Quarter Final @ $17.00
  • Semi Final @ $41.00
  • Runners Up @ $101.00
  • Winners @ $251.00

Draw

Group:

Morocco have been drawn in Group B alongside Iran, Portugal and Spain

Opponents:

Record vs Iran – W: 0, D: 0, L: 2

Last Meeting – 17 September 2002: Morocco drew with Iran 1-1

Record vs Portugal – W: 1, D: 0, L: 0

Last Meeting – 11 June 1986: Morocco def Portugal 3-1 (FIFA World Cup)

Record vs Spain – W: 0, D: 0, L: 2

Last Meeting – 23 November 1961: Spain def Morocco 3-2

Schedule:

Saturday 16th June – 1:00am – Morocco vs Iran

Wednesday 20th June – 10:00pm – Morocco vs Portugal

Tuesday 26th June – 12:00am – Morocco vs Spain

Group Ranking:

In the hierarchy of Group B there is Portugal and Spain, then a significant gap then you will find Morocco and Iran below that.

Morocco are probably a nose ahead of Iran when evaluating the teams head to head and whoever wins that opening game between the two will keep their faint hopes of toppling Spain and Portugal alive.

Back Morocco to Win Group B @ $17.00

World Cup History

Number of Appearances

4 – 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998

Best Performance

Round of 16 – 1986

Match Record & Goals Tally

Played: 13, Won: 2, Drawn: 4, Lost: 7

Scored: 12, Conceded: 18

2018 Qualifying Campaign

Made the World Cup by…

Morocco finished on top of CAF Qualifying Group C giving them direct passage to Russia

Qualifying Record & Goals Tally

Played: 8, Won: 4, Drawn: 3, Lost: 1

Scored: 13, Conceded : 1

Story to Watch

During the group stage of qualification, Morocco went all six games without conceding, holding off the likes of Ivory Coast and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Can that approach translate to an upset or two in the group stage?

Morocco 2018 World Cup Squad

GOALKEEPERS

Mounir El Kajoui, Yassine Bounou, Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti

DEFENDERS

Mehdi Benatia, Romain Saiss, Manuel Da Costa, Nabil Dirar, Achraf Hakimi, Hamza Mendyl

MIDFIELDERS

M’barek Boussoufa, Karim El Ahmadi, Youssef Ait Bennasser, Sofyan Amrabat, Younes Belhanda, Faycal Fajr, Amine Harit

FORWARDS

Khalid Boutaib, Aziz Bouhaddouz, Ayoub El Kaabi, Nordin Amrabat, Mehdi Carcela, Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En Nesyri

Strengths

These guys will not take a backwards step, in part because they sit so deep they will not be able to stay on the pitch if they go any further backwards.

Any success they have will come because they have been able to keep opponents from scoring and perhaps pinched a goal on the break.

Not to mention a coach that will have no hesitation screaming at his players if they are anywhere below totally committed.

Weakness

With such a heavy focus on defence, you have to pay a price somewhere and Morocco are missing a proven goalscorer.

Notable Absentees

Morocco have assembled one of the best squads available to them, quite literally with 17 of their 23 players born outside of the country.

Key Player

Medhi Benatia

Morocco’s 31 year old captain has been in and out of the Juventus side over the past two years and is being linked with a Premier League move.

With 35 appearances for his club this year he will be asked to set the tone for Morocco from the outset and provide the team with leadership.

Final Prediction

That first game against Iran will decide third place in the group before they find themselves largely outclassed by tournament favourites Spain and Portugal.

PREDICTION: GROUP STAGE

Best Bet: Back Morocco to Be the Lowest Scoring Team @ $17