Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2021 match:
After outplaying Mane-less Senegal in October friendly, Morocco will be looking to retain top position in the AFCON qualifiers Group E when they host Central Africa at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Friday. The Atlas Lions have been impressive at the back in the qualifiers, with the team eyeing their third consecutive clean sheet of the process. The good news for the hosts is that Chelsea ace Hakim Ziyech has overcome his injury.
The former Ajax man provided two assists for his teammates in the 4-1 win over Sheffield United, and, no doubt, he is going to prove a handful for the opposition defenders in Friday’s qualifier. Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi will be yet another man to watch in the home team. Central Africa, on the other hand, are not regarded as good travellers, and seeing that they failed to impress in a 2-0 loss at Mauritania, we are tempted to put our money on the Group E leaders.
Highlighted Player (Achraf Lazaar):
Achraf Lazaar was born in Casablanca, Morocco on January 22, 1992, but he moved to Italy with his parents in 2003. The left-footed footballer began his youth career at Raja Casablanca and he joined Varese’s youth academy in 2009.
Lazaar made his debut for the senior team in 2012. He made 37 league appearances for Varese, but he did not find the net during his spell at the Stadio Franco Ossola outfit. In January 2014 he signed a contract with Palermo and he has been playing for the Sicilian outfit ever since.Lazaar plays as a left back, but he is capable of producing fine displays as a left back as well. Seeing that he was unable to play for Italy, the Palermo footballer decided to represent Morocco on the international stage. He made his Morocco debut on 23 may, 2014 in a friendly against Mozambique. Morocco recorded a routine 4-0 win over Mozambique back then. Achraf Lazaar has a contract with Palermo which expires on 30 June, 2017.
Highlighted Team (Morocco):
Morocco, the Atlas Lions, are the first African team to win a group at the World Cup finals. Back in 1986 the team managed to finish the group stages above Portugal, Poland and England, but West Germany proved to be a big catch for the Moroccan national team in the last 16 of the tournament.
The Atlas Lions participated at the World Cup finals on four occasions, but winning of the 1976 African Cup of Nations is considered the team’s biggest success. Morocco were producing outstanding displays at the tournament in Ethiopia and it has to be noted that they defeated Guinea in the title game.
Morocco play their home games at Stade Adrar and Stade de Marrakech and they wear red shirts and green shorts when playing in front of home fans. A number of top-class footballers played for Morocco in the past, but Mustafa Hadji is certainly the biggest star who played for the Moroccan national team.