Spain - Morocco Preview: La Roja look to end Olympic football tournament on a high
Having suffered defeat in their first two games, the European champions will be hoping to conclude with a victory, while their African opponents could still qualify
By Chris Teale
Montoya, Botia, Dominguez, Alba
Romeu, Martinez, Herrera
Tello, Muniain, Adrian
Aberhoun, El Kaoutari, Jebbour
Noussir, Labayd, Fettouhi, Abdel, Kharja
With their tournament over, Spain coach Luis Milla may make a few changes to his starting side after their disappointing defeat to Honduras. Iker Munian has recovered from injury and will most likely get minutes, with Adrian and Cristian Tello supporting in a new-look front three.
Morocco are also relying on Japan to beat Honduras alongwith condeming Spain to their third defeat on the trot to progress to the quarter-finals - so Per Verbeek is likely to select thestrongest possible side at his disposal.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- In their second game of this Olympic football tournament Spain had 67 per cent of the possession, but still lost 1-0 to Honduras.
- The Spanish have three players from the squad that won Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine: Juan Mata, Jordi Alba and Javi Martinez.
- When Spain last entered the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 they were in the same group as Morocco, and beat the Africans 2-0 thanks to goals from Jose Mari and Gabri before winning the gold medal.
- In their two meetings in senior international football, Spain have never lost to Morocco - scoring four goals in two games.
- Morocco are managed by Dutchman Pim Verbeek (pictured right), who has previously managed the South Korea and Australia national teams, taking the Socceroos to the 2012 World Cup.
- Striker Nordin Amrabat was initially capped by the Dutch national youth teams, and was even called into the senior squad on one occasion, before deciding in November 2011 to play for Morocco.
- Morocco will have half an eye on the other group game between Honduras and Japan, needing a victory and a Honduran defeat with a two-goal swing to progress.
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Top 3 Predictions
Spain U-23 0-8 Morocco U-23
- 30.78 %
Spain U-23 0-1 Morocco U-23
- 11.77 %
Spain U-23 2-0 Morocco U-23
- 7.75 %
|Olympic Games (OLY)||1 Aug 2012||Spain U-23 0 - Morocco U-23 0|
|1 Aug 2012||Spain U-23 0 - Morocco U-23 0||OLY|
|29 Jul 2012||Spain U-23 0 - Honduras Under 23 1||OLY|
|26 Jul 2012||Spain U-23 0 - Japan Under 23 1||OLY|
|-||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|-||Abdelhamid El Kaoutari||Defender|
|12||Omar El Kaddouri||Midfielder|
|17||Soufian El Hassnaoui||Striker|
Iker Munian was struck down just before the tournament with an injury to his right leg and has thus failed to feature for La Roja so far. However, now in line for a starting berth, the young striker-cum-attacking midfielder will be desperate to shine and prevent Spain from leaving Great Britain having not registered a single goal.
If they are to come away victorious, Morocco will have to require their German-born goalkeeper Mohamed Amsif, who plays for FC Augsburg in the German Bundesliga, to be at his very best. Spain’s morale may be low, but their threat lies in abundance.
After a difficult tournament the Spanish will be hoping to finish on a high and, although while Morocco can still qualify if the other result goes their way, should have enough to see their opponents off.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed