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Morocco predicted XI for opening World Cup game against Croatia

10:13 GMT+4 23/11/2022
Hakim Ziyech Morocco 2022
GOAL predicts how the Atlas Lions might line up against the Blazers in their opening game at Al Bayt Stadium

Morocco will begin their quest for the 2022 Fifa World Cup trophy when they take on Croatia in a Group F fixture on Wednesday.

The Atlas Lions will parade in the global competition for the sixth time, having done so in the 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998, and 2018 editions. Apart from Croatia, Morocco will come up against Belgium on November 27 and Canada on December 1.

Morocco coach Walid Regragui will have to name his starting XI without the injured Amine Harit, Ez Abde, Selim Amallah and Tarik Tissoudali but striker Youssef En-Nesyri is fit and available for selection.

Below, GOAL predicts how the Atlas Lions could line up against the Blazers in the opener at Al Bayt Stadium.

  • Yassine Bounou Morocco 2022

    Goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou

    The 31-year-old Bounou, who features for Sevilla in La Liga, kept a clean sheet as Morocco defeated Georgia 3-0 in their final warm-up on November 17 before heading to Qatar.

    Bounou produced spectacular saves to deny Georgia and he will likely keep the spot against the Blazers as Morocco seek a positive start.

  • Achraf Hakimi

    Right-back: Achraf Hakimi

    The Paris Saint-Germain defender is one of the key lights for Morocco as they seek to register a positive start in their bid to reach the knockout stage.

    The 24-year-old Hakimi is having a great season in Ligue 1, having scored three goals already in this campaign and chipped in with one assist. He has the nose for scoring goals as well as his crosses from the right wing will be vital for Morocco.

  • Romain Saiss

    Centre-back: Romain Saiss

    The Besiktas star is one of the most experienced players in Morocco squad and he will be relied upon to lead from the back as they battle the Blazers.

    The 32-year-old Saiss has the ability to cover for the midfield as well and he will definetely get the nod to start and give protection to keeper Bounou.

  • Nayef Aguerd Rennes 2021-22

    Centre-back: Nayef Aguerd

    The 26-year-old Aguerd is a sure bet to start in the central role, assisting Saiss to cover keeper Bounou.

    Aguerd, who turns out for Premier League outfit West Ham United, has the required experience to stop Croatia's threat spearheaded by Luka Modric.

  • Noussair Mazraoui of Morocco is challenged by Sessi Dalmeida of Benin.

    Left-back: Noussair Mazraoui

    Yahia Attiyat Allah started in the friendly against Georgia and although he was impressive, he will likely pave the way for the experienced Mazraoui to feature on the left of the defence.

    The 25-year-old Mazraoui is having a superb season with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga where he has already chipped in with three assists.

  • 230922 Azzedine Ounahi Arturo Vidal Marruecos Chile

    Central midfielder: Azzedine Ounahi

    The 22-year-old Ounahi teamed up well with Yahya Jabrane and Hakim Ziyech in the victory against Georgia and his superb display in the warm-up could hand him a starting role against the Blazers.

    He was instrumental in two goals scored by Morocco and his defence-splitting passes will be key for the Atlas Lions to unlock their opponents at Al Bayt Stadium.

  • Selim Amallah of Morocco Afcon 2021.

    Central midfielder: Selim Amallah

    The Standard Liege player made his competitive debut for the Atlas Lions in a 0-0 draw against Mauritania on November 15, 2019, and has never looked back.

    With over 20 caps to his name, the 26-year-old Amallah, who has so far scored four goals and produced one assist in the Belgian Pro League, will be crucial to create and score when an opportunity arises.

  • Hakim Ziyech Morocco

    Attacking midfielder: Hakim Ziyech

    The 29-year-old Ziyech returned to the fold with a wonderful goal against Georgia and he will be key for Morocco in the opener against Croatia.

    Ziyech has struggled for playtime at Chelsea but he now has the opportunity to prove his case in Qatar. He is good at set pieces, can play from the wing and can score from any angle when on-form.

  • Attacking midfielder: Nordin Amrabat

    Another experienced player in the Morocco set-up and he will likely be deployed in an attacking role against Croatia.

    The 35-year-old Amrabat, who features for Greece side AEK Athens, has three goals and one assist in the Super League and his combination with Ziyech will be key for the North Africans.

  • CAN 2022 Maroc Sofiane Boufal

    Winger: Sofiane Boufal

    He was among the goals in the 3-0 friendly victory against Georgia and could likely start on the wing.

    The 29-year-old Boufal is also essential for the Atlas Lions as he can switch play to the attacking midfield role. So far, he has three goals to his name in Ligue 1 for Angers and has chipped in with three assists.

  • Youssef En-Nesyri of Morocco.

    Forward: Youssef En-Nesyri

    Though the 25-year-old En-Nesyri is yet to open his goal account for Sevilla in La Liga this season, he will likely be preferred to lead the line against Croatia.

    He opened the scoring in the warm-up victory against Georgia and looked lively in the contest before he was withdrawn. He is good in the air and dangerous when in a one-on-one situation.