Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2021 match:
Morocco will be aiming to kick off their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a win over Mauritania when the two teams face each other at Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah on Friday evening. Morocco experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 3-2 loss to Gabon in their last friendly, but they are surely capable of beating Mauritania in front of home fans.
A man to watch in the home team will be Ajax superstar Hakim Ziyech, who has netted five goals in the Eredivisie so far this term. Mauritania face an uphill task in their opener. Given the number of high-profile footballers in the home team, we predict that the visitors are going to return home empty-handed. In their last meeting in a competitive match Morocco crushed Mauritania 4-0, which is yet another reason why home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Mehdi Carcela-González):
Despite being born in Liege, Belgium on July 1, 1989, Mehdi Carcela represents Morocco on the international stage. Carcela initially chose to play for his country of birth Belgium, taking part in two friendlies with the Red Devils, but in February 2011 he made his debut with Morocco.
He represented Morocco at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia, but the African side failed to make it to the knockout stages of the showpiece tournament. Speaking of his club career, Mehdi Carcela played for the likes of Standard Liege, Anzhi, Benfica, Granada and Olympiakos (on loan). He currently plays for Standard Liege on loan from Granada.
Mehdi Carcela’s main position is right winger, but he is capable of playing as both attacking midfielder and left winger as well. In the 2008/2009 season the Morocco international won the Belgian Pro League with Standard and seven seasons later he repeated the success with Benfica as the Eagles won Primeira Liga. His preferred foot is left.
Highlighted Team (Mauritania):
Affiliated to both CAF (Africa) and WAFU (West Africa) confederations, Mauritania are the national team that qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in their history. The Lions of Chinguetti were grouped with the likes of Angola, Burkina Faso and Botswana in the qualifiers for the 2019 tournament, with the team finishing the team collecting 12 points from possible 18.
Mauritania, though, have yet to book their place at the FIFA World Cup finals. The Lions of Chinguetti suffered a heavy 5-1 loss to Malagasy Republic on their international debut (25 December, 1961) and they registered their biggest win 45 years later, with the team crushing Somalia 8-2 in Beirut, Lebanon.
Back in 1972 Mauritania suffered the biggest lost in the history of the national team as they were beaten 14-0 by Guinea. Stade Olympique, which can hold up to 20,000 people, is considered the team’s home ground.