Morocco's World Cup 2022 Standings
Morocco is the third team Group B, which also includes Portugal, Spain and Iran. Below you will find their current tournament standings, updated after every matchday.
Morocco's Odds To Win The World Cup
The draw wasn't too kind to the Moroccans as they were placing alongside northern neighbours Spain and Portugal in Group B, and they will be well and truly up against it in their attempts to progress to the round of sixteen for just the second time in their history. We feel as though they should be able to defeat Iran, although can't see them getting too much out of the games against their strong European opponents.
Sports Interaction has them at -714 to fail to progress from the group, which indicates just how unlikely it will be. If you think that one of either Spain and Portugal will have a World Cup capitulation, you can obtain odds of +425 for the Moroccans to qualify for the round of sixteen.
Morocco's Squad & Key Players
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalised until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first let's take a look at some of the most important players in the Moroccan team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Hakim Ziyech (Attacking Midfielder)
It could have been a very different story for Hakim Ziyech, who was born in the Netherlands and played for the Dutch national team in the U19, U20 and U21 sides. Despite playing for both FC Twente and now Ajax, Ziyech chose to represent Morocco at senior international level, and this proved to be a smart move as the Moroccan side managed to qualify for Russia while the Netherlands missed out.
Ziyech is best known for his technical ability and his excellent free kicks. The latter will be crucial at the World Cup, where even the less-fancied teams can upset the big guns with one moment of magic. At just 24 he will appear at his first World Cup, and if Morocco can qualify consistently for the upcoming tournaments he is sure to feature for the national side for many years to come.
Sofiane Boufal (Attacking Midfielder)
Southampton's Sofiane Boufal has been rotated in and out of the first team during his short tenure on the south coast of England, although he too is just 24 and will be key to the Moroccan side's progress in this World Cup.
The biggest issue will be how Boufal and Ziyech can adapt to playing alongside each other. Both play similar roles for their club sides, so it will be interesting to see how they line up when the World Cup begins.
Medhi Benatia (Defender)
The experience at the back will be important for Morocco, and in Medhi Benatia they have a quality defender that has played for some of Europe's biggest teams. Benatia has appeared for Roma, Bayern Munich and now Juventus and has also scored goals for each club - his link up with Ziyech at set pieces and corners will be critical.
The Coach - Herve Renard
Renard has plenty of experience coaching African nations, having held the top job with Zambia, Angola and the Ivory Coast before his move to Morocco in 2016. He has brought success to the countries that he has coached, becoming the first manager to win the African Cup of Nations with two different teams - first in 2012 with Zambia and then 2015 with the Ivorians.
Renard has recently signed a contract that will keep him at the helm in Morocco until 2022, owing to his performance in getting the team back to the World Cup.
Morocco's World Cup 2022 Lineup
Speaking of lining up, let's take a look at one of Morocco's latest international. The last competitive fixture was played against the Ivory Coast on November 11th, 2017 and resulted in their qualification for the tournament. The full lineup was as follows.
Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Munir Mohand (CD Numancia) - Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton), Medhi Benatia (Juventus), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce) - Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray) - Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax), Mbark Boussoufa (Al-Jazira) -Khalid Boutaib (Yeni Malatyaspor)
Reserves: Sofyan Amrabat, A Tagnaouti, Badr Banoun, Achraf Bencharki, Amine Harit, Hamza Mendyl, Faycal Fajr, Rachid Alioui, Yassine Bounou, Fouad Chafik, Mimoun Mahi, Sofiane Boufal.
Morocco's World Cup History
Morocco will make their fifth appearance at a World Cup when they join Spain, Portugal and Iran in Group B at the 2018 event. Russia will be the first tournament the Moroccans will be participating in since the 1998 edition in France, where they managed one win and a draw but ultimately failed to progress from a group containing Brazil, Norway and Scotland.
The Moroccans first entered the World Cup back in 1970 when they also bowed out at the group stage. They had to wait until 1986 before they would return to the tournament, and it was in Mexico where they recorded their best result by making it to the second round. Morocco's only other appearance came at the 1994 tournament in the United States, and again they were eliminated at the group stage without recording a win.
Morocco's return to the World Cup has come at the expense of the Ivory Coast, who qualified for the last three tournaments. The north African nation managed to win three and draw three in their final group, and it was their clutch 2-0 over the Ivorians on their home patch that clinched their qualification at the last possible moment.