Morocco predicted lineup vs Spain - World Cup
Morocco face Spain on Tuesday afternoon in the nation's first World Cup knockout tie since 1986.
During that sticky summer in Mexico, Morocco topped a group containing England, Poland and Portugal with one win. Before arriving in Qatar, the Atlas Lions had accrued just two World Cup victories in their history. They've matched that tally already this winter.
Here's the lineup Walid Regragui may deploy to extend his nation's winning streak.
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Morocco predicted lineup vs Spain (4-3-3)
GK: Yassine Bounou - Three members of Spain's squad have already scored against the Sevilla goalkeeper this season.
RB: Achraf Hakimi - Born in Spain to Moroccan parents, this knockout tie has an extra layer of importance for the former Real Madrid academy graduate.
CB: Nayef Aguerd - The West Ham centre-back had the dishonour of becoming the first player to score an own goal at this World Cup against Canada.
CB: Romain Saiss - Before a ball was kicked in anger this winter, Saiss pledged: “We’re going to Qatar with no pressure but our goal is clear: to qualify for the second round.” Job done.
LB: Noussair Mazraoui - It took four trials for Mazraoui to get accepted into Ajax's academy. After his first season in the senior team he was named the club's "Talent of the Year".
CM: Azzedine Ounahi - Only Lionel Messi has completed more dribbles in Ligue 1 this season than the industrious and dexterous Ounahi.
CM: Sofyan Amrabat - In Russia, Amrabat played alongside his brother Nordin. “When we played in the 2018 World Cup he told me: ‘We’ll face everybody head-on,’" Sofyan remembered. "Since that moment, that phrase became my motto.” Nordin took that advice a little too literally, suffering a concussion during the tournament before appearing against Portugal just five days later.
CM: Abdelhamid Sabiri - The Sampdoria midfielder has made as many appearances for Germany's under-21 national team as he has for the Moroccan senior side (five).
RW: Hakim Ziyech - Shunned by Regragui's predecessor, Morocco's manager outlined how to get the best out of Ziyech. “For me, what I say, when you give him the love, the confidence, he can die for you." Take note Graham Potter.
ST: Youssef En-Nesyri - The Sevilla striker has played against Spain's first-choice goalkeeper Unai Simon six times, only scoring once.
LW: Sofiane Boufal - At least Boufal is aware of his divisive character. “It’s either you’re crazy about me, or I’ll drive you crazy,” he says.
Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Toby Cudworth & La Liga TV presenter Semra Hunter to look back on the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa - join us!
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