Morocco are set to make the trip to Qatar this coming winter as something of a wildcard, but all the while boasting a squad more than capable of springing a surprise or two at world football’s most prestigious event.
The Atlas Lions have only ever made it beyond the group stages at the World Cup on one occasion, all the way back in 1986.
And though they will head into the Group F table viewed as underdogs, pitted against the talents of all of Belgium, Croatia and Canada, fans would do well not to rule Walid Regragui’s troops out just yet.
Morocco enjoyed a scintillating campaign en route to securing qualification for the 2022 World Cup, running riot to the tune of a perfect six wins from six, which gave rise to a whopping 20 goals scored, and one conceded, and boast a talented squad with the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Bono, Youssef En-Nesyri, Achraf Hakimi, Nayef Aguerd and Sofyane Amrabat.
Should one of group favourites Belgium and Croatia not be at their best in Qatar, expect Morocco to position themselves to take full advantage.
Morocco World Cup 2022 Tips
Read the latest Morocco odds ahead of the World Cup, including their odds to win the tournament, odds to claim the golden boot, 101 Great Goals’ top tip and more 2022 World Cup predictions and tips.
Morocco World Cup Predictions
Of the 32 countries primed to take their place at the latest edition of international football’s biggest competition, Morocco are currently viewed as 23rd favourites to go all the way, and the best they can hope is an outside chance of qualification for the knockouts.
Morocco Golden Boot Prediction
Youssef En-Nesyri has established himself at Sevilla and in the Morocco national side, despite long-term injury. With the likes of Hakim Ziyech supplying him, he can expect quality delivery but the nature of their group means opportunities could be in short supply.
The situation on the nation’s touchline has proven one of the headline talking points in the Moroccan camp in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup.
This comes with Walid Regragui’s 3rd game in charge of his home country, remarkably, set to come in the form of a group stage showdown with Croatia in Qatar.
The 46-year-old boasts previous experience in a coaching role with the Atlas Lions, having acted as assistant manager a full decade ago. And Regragui has since gone on to hone his craft at club level across stints in both Morocco and, coincidentally, Qatar.
Should he manage to kick his maiden spell as an international head coach into gear in positive fashion, then Regragui could quickly establish himself as something of a national hero.
Total appearances: 5
First qualification: 1970
Most recent: 2018
Best achievement: Round of 16 (1986)
World Ranking: 22
Overall record: P16, W2, D5, L9
Another high-profile member of the Moroccan camp to have seen his name cast into the spotlight of late, Hakim Ziyech has actually not lined out for his country for a full 12 months now.
This comes after ex-boss Halilhodzic dropped the Chelsea attacker indefinitely for what he described as ‘unacceptable’ behaviour, accusing the 29-year-old of feigning injury to avoid taking to the pitch during a friendly meeting with Ghana.
With Halilhodzic having since been sent on his way, and Moroccan Federation president Fouzi Lekjaa having confirmed that Ziyech is primed to return to the fold in time to feature in Qatar, though, the experienced attacker will be expected to take on a leader’s role, as the Atlas Lions’ star performer and creator in chief.
Ziyech, to date, has racked up an impressive 17 goals across 41 appearances in his country’s colours, with the former Ajax star’s ability to reproduce such brilliance set pieces to prove integral to Morocco’s chances of advancing to the knockout rounds in Qatar.
101′s Morocco World Cup Tip
Our prediction 101 is a likely group stage exit, for the fifth time across the country’s six appearances at the tournament.
Unlike some of the other less-heralded sides set to make the trip to Qatar, Morocco battling their way to a place in the Last-16 should not be ruled out. They sit on a similar footing to Canada as joint-third favourites to emerge from Group F, with Belgium the clear frontrunners. Should Regragui’s men manage a positive opening day result against Croatia, though, they will be quietly confident in their chances of upsetting the odds come the close of group stage play.
Morocco stats, fixtures and results
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