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Morocco predicted XI to face Belgium: Mazraoui doubtful, Ziyech to lead the line

2:15 pm AEDT 26/11/22
GOAL predicts how the Atlas Lions might line up against the Red Devils in their second game at Al Thumama Stadium

Morocco will search for their first victory in the 2022 Fifa World Cup finals when they take on Belgium in a Group F fixture on Sunday.

The Atlas Lions, who are taking part in the global competition for the sixth time, kicked off their campaign with a 0-0 draw against Croatia on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Belgium under manager Roberto Martinez defeated Canada 1-0 in their opener with Michy Batshuayi notching the vital goal at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

The only injury concern for Morocco coach Walid Regragui is defender Noussair Mazraoui, who was stretchered off an hour into their draw against Croatia after landing heavily on his hip.

Below, GOAL predicts how the Atlas Lions could line up against the Red Devils at Al Thumama Stadium.

  • Bounou Morocco Croatia

    Goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou

    The 31-year-old Sevilla custodian was untested for most of the first half during the opener against Croatia but he later made some crucial saves to keep Morocco in the game.

    His superb reflexes prevented Croatia from finding the back of the net and coach Regragui will be happy to have him between the sticks for the Red Devils clash.

  • Achraf Hakimi, Morocco, November 2022

    Right-back: Achraf Hakimi

    Hakimi was a threat for Morocco against Croatia from the wings delivering perfect crosses which were not utilised by the strikers.

    He almost scored for the Atlas Lions after being set up by Hakim Ziyech but his effort was stopped by goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. He will likely keep the role as the North Africans search for their first victory in the group.

  • Romain Saiss Morocco.

    Centre-back: Romain Saiss

    Against Croatia, the 32-year-old Saiss made a vital clearance to deny Andrej Kramaric and he was also key to keeping Luka Modric at bay.

    The Besiktas star is one of the most experienced players in the Morocco squad and he will once again be relied upon as they battle the Red Devils.

  • Nayef Aguerd Morocco.

    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.

    He was superb against Croatia, twice using his height to clear dangerous aerial balls.

  • Yahya Attiat-Allal of Morocco.

    Left-back: Yahya Attiat-Allal

    With Mazraoui picking up an injury in the opener, the 27-year-old Allal, who features for Moroccan club Wydad AC, will get another chance to play against the Red Devils.

    He has good pace when with the ball and this will be vital for the Atlas Lions in their search for victory at Al Thumama Stadium.

  • Ounahi Morocco.

    Central midfielder: Azzedine Ounahi

    The 22-year-old Ounahi was not at his best against Croatia, losing balls in the middle of play and was replaced for Abdelhamid Sabiri.

    However, Ounahi, who plays for French Ligue 1 club Angers, will likely get the nod to start again.

  • Selim Amallah Morocco.

    Central midfielder: Selim Amallah

    The Standard Liege player was average against Croatia and he will need to up his game if he gets another chance to start against Belgium.

  • Modric Ziyech Morocco Croatia

    Attacking midfielder: Hakim Ziyech

    The Chelsea player failed to score from set-pieces against Croatia but his creativity was crucial for the Atlas Lions.

    Although he has struggled for game time in the Premier League, the 29-year-old Ziyech has another chance to prove his worth for Morocco against the Red Devils.

  • Sofyan Amrabat Morocco.

    Attacking midfielder: Nordin Amrabat

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

    He performed superbly well against Croatia, managing to contain Modric, and this helped the Atlas Lions to neutralize Croatia's greatest source of creativity.

  • Sofiane Boufal of Morocco.

    Winger: Sofiane Boufal

    The 29-year-old Boufal linked up well with Ziyech and he should have scored for the Atlas Lions.

    He is a sure bet to start against the Red Devils in the Group F fixture.

  •  En-Nesyri Morocco

    Forward: Youssef En-Nesyri

    The 25-year-old En-Nesyri squandered a great chance to score for Morocco against Croatia but his poor touch from a Ziyech cross was stopped by the keeper.

    He will likely be deployed in the same role against Belgium.