Seeking to make it two wins from two, Morocco welcome Guinea-Bissau to the Complexe Prince Moulay Abdellah in Group I of the World Cup qualifiers.
Vahid Halilhodzic’s men kicked off their campaign with a win over Sudan last time out, while the visitors bounced back from an opening-day draw to claim a comfortable win over Guinea in Khartoum.
Morocco are one of Africa’s best nations in terms of participating in the World Cup, having featured in five previous editions of the quadrennial tournament.
The Atlas Lions began their hunt for a sixth appearance on a winning note as they saw off their Northeastern counterpart Sudan 2-0 in Rabat on September 2.
The game got off to a flyer after 10 minutes when Stade Rennais defender Nayef Aguerd broke the deadlock before Aboaagla Abdalla inadvertently put the ball in his net nine minutes after the interval to double the margin.
This was a fourth win on the trot for Morocco, who edged out Burundi, Ghana and Burkina Faso since their bore draw with Mauritania in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on March 26.
Vahid Halilhodzic’s men head into Wednesday’s game on a run of 19 games without defeat across all competitions, claiming 15 wins and four draws since a 3-2 friendly loss to Gabon back in 2019.
Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau entered the race for a place in Qatar in sky-high spirits after clinching a ticket to the Africa Cup of Nations courtesy of a final-day 3-0 victory over Congo in Group I of the qualifiers.
While they faced the stern test of going up against a significantly stronger Guinea side who had won each of their previous two outings, Baciro Cande‘s side put on a valiant display to salvage a 1-1 draw on September 1.
Twenty-five-year-old Francois Kamano gave Guinea the lead on the quarter-hour mark, but Chamois Niortais forward Joseph Mendes struck one minute after the interval to force a share of the spoils.
This was followed by a thrilling victory over Sudan when both sides squared off at the Al-Hilal Stadium a little under one week later.
After a 10th-minute strike from Frederic Mendy and a brace from Piqueti put Guinea-Bissau three goals up heading into half time, Mohamed Abdelrahman scored either side of Mama Balde‘s 82nd-minute goal as the Djurtus stormed to a 4-2 victory.
Guinea-Bissau are unbeaten in each of their last four outings, picking up three wins and one draw and this has been owing to their free-scoring frontmen who have netted 11 goals in that time.
However, next up is an uphill task of taking on a rampant Morocco side who last tasted defeat in a competitive game back in 2018 when they lost 1-0 against Portugal in the World Cup.
Morocco have called up a star-studded 27-man squad for their upcoming qualifying games with the likes of, Paris Saint-Germain’s Achraf Hakimi, Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Romain Saiss and Youssef En-Nesyri headlining the team.
Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech, who has 41 caps for the national team since making his debut in 2015, remains out of reckoning for the Atlas Lions after falling out with Halilhodzic.
Despite the absence of the 28-year-old, Morocco boast a fine crop of players on the wing, with former Southampton man Sofiane Boufal, AZ Alkmaar youngster Zakaria Aboukhlal, and Sevilla’s Munir El Haddadi all available.Aboukhlal was given the nod against Sudan last time out, but after his unconvincing performance, the 21-year-old could make way for a more experienced Munir on the left flank.
Meanwhile, Baciro Cande has named a 25-man squad for their upcoming qualifying games, including the likes of Porto full-back Nanu, AS Monaco’s Mamadou Pele and Troyes forward Mama Balde are some of the key figures who may feature.On the back of his side’s dominating attacking display at Sudan, Baciro Cande could name a similar front three on Wednesday, meaning we could see the trio of Jorginho, Mohamed Abdelrahman and Piqueti for the second game running.
With three goals in his last three international outings, Piqueti has been pivotal in the Djurtus’ solid start to the qualifiers and the Al Shoulla forward will be one to look out for on Wednesday.
Morocco possible starting lineup:Bounou; Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, El Karouani; Barkok, Aboukhlal, Chair; Boufal, En-Nesyri, MunirGuinea-Bissau possible starting lineup:Mendes; Nanu, Sangante, Silva, Cande; Semedo, Cassama, Norgueirma; Piqueti, Mendy, Balde
Our tip: Morocco 2-0 Guinea-BissauGuinea-Bissau have begun their quest for a World Cup ticket on a good note as they currently lead the way in Group I after two games. However, they face the tough ask of taking on an in-form Morocco side who last lost a competitive game back in 2018. The Guineans head into the game in fine goalscoring form and will be looking to put up a fight, but looking at the gulf in quality between the two nations, we predict Morocco will come away with all three points and maintain a perfect start to the qualifiers.
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