All Betting Tips

DR Congo vs Morocco betting tips: African World Cup play-off first leg preview, predictions and odds

These two have only ever met once before in a competitive match with DR Congo claiming a 1-0 group stage victory at AFCON 2017. Morocco though have won 13 of their last 17 competitive games, losing just once.

Under 2.5 goals is 4/9.

Under 2.5 goals and both teams to score NO is 8/11.

Morocco to win and under 2.5 goals is 11/4. 

Match preview

It doesn't get much bigger than this does it?

A two-legged tie with the winners going to the World Cup and the losers missing out.

Morocco come into this match-up as favourites having appeared at five World Cups in their history, ending their 20-year exile last time round.

The get this far in qualifying, the Atlas Lions won all six matches in the group stage, overcoming Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sudan.

However, since then, Vahid Halilhodžić's side have suffered disappointment at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Morocco beat Ghana, Comoros and Malawi but then bowed out at the quarter-final stage, losing 2-1 after extra time to North African rivals Egypt.

Just one thing can heal the pain of January's defeat in Yaoundé and that is World Cup qualification.

DR Congo, amazingly, didn't even qualify for this year's AFCON but have made it to this stage of World Cup qualifying.

The Leopards amassed 11 points in Group J, pipping Benin to top spot thanks to a final day 2-0 victory over their direct rivals in Kinshasa.

This win means seven of DR Congo's last ten competitive victories have come on home soil, highlighting the importance of this first leg.

Having narrowly missed out on Russia, their sole World Cup appearance remains 1974 when, as Zaire, they lost all three games, conceding 14 goals.

Led by Héctor Cúper, who took Egypt to the World Cup four years ago, they're looking to rewrite the record books.

Who will claim a first leg lead at Stade des Martyrs?

DR Congo team news

DR Congo's squad certainly possesses plenty of attacking firepower.

Strikers Dieumerci Mbokani, now with Kuwait SC, and Marseille's Cédric Bakambu have 22 and 13 international goals respectively.

Yannick Bolasie (Çaykur Rizespor), Meschak Elia (Young Boys), Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) and Yoane Wissa (Brentford) could also pose a threat.

Further back, midfielder Edo Kayembe has shone since arriving at Watford in January.

Chancel Mbemba is their experienced header at the back; the Porto central-defender will win his 61st international cap in this one.

A problem could be the most experienced goalkeeper in the squad, Joël Kiassumbua, hasn't played a club game since leaving Servette in May.

Morocco team news

As was the case during AFCON, the headline team news surrounds who's not in the squad.

Neither Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui nor Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech will be involved after falling out with Head Coach Vahid Halilhodžić.

The 69 year old infamously shot himself in the buttock during the Yugoslav war and may have metaphorically done the same here.

So, Youssef En-Nesyri could be their main man for goals which may well be an issue as he hasn't netted for Sevilla since September.

Club teammate Munir El Haddadi as well as Sofiane Boufal, who scored an amazing goal against Ghana in January, are likely to be in support.

In goal, Yassine Bounou is certainly one of the best goalkeepers Africa has to offer.

In front of him, Achraf Hakimi, Adam Masina and Romain Saïss will form part of the defence.

Hakimi will be key at both ends having scored two free-kicks at AFCON 2021, the first player to do that since Geremi at the 2008 edition.

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Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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