Preview: Morocco vs. Croatia - Prediction, Team News, Lineups

Morocco and Croatia start their World Cup campaigns as they face each other in Group F today.
Morocco's last win at World Cup was in 1998, while Croatia only defeated the 2018 World Cup champion France in the final.
This is also the first matchup between Morocco and Croatia at a World Cup.

Match preview

Source: khelnow

Recent history indicates the result of Croatia’s World Cup Group F opener against Morocco on Wednesday will give a good clue as to how far they can go at Qatar 2022.
Generally, Croatia lost their opener in three of their five appearances at the World Cup, and on those occurrences, they never succeeded to get out of the group.
In the rest of the results, they managed to become the last four, with Zlatko Dalić guiding Croatia all the way to the final 4 years ago, eventually losing to France.
Still, much of the 2018 squad is no longer in the picture, but they still qualified with relative ease and earlier this season topped a Nations League group that also featured Les Bleus and Denmark.
“We just need to take it game by game,” striker Marko Livaja claimed.
“For us, our focus needs to be on the game against Morocco, where we’ll need to give 100%, and I think we have really good chances to repeat something similar to what we did in Russia.”
Andrej Kramarić continued: “We have quality and we can repeat the result from Russia, but it’s stupid to talk about it and announce it. “It’s important that we pass the group, and then we’ll see what happens.”
On the other hand, Morocco shows their confidence prior to the match and believes they can have a good result.
The Atlas Lions won all six games in the second round of the CAF tournament, having 20 goals and conceding just one.
They then thrashed the Democratic Republic of Congo 5-2 on aggregate in the third and final stage of the qualifying round, making them the only team to progress with a winning margin of more than one goal.
“We know what we have to do to make everyone proud,” he stated on Morocco’s official YouTube channel. “I think for everybody it’s a big stage now to show what we are capable of as a team and as a country.
“We are preparing properly. I think we were up to it against Georgia. We feel good, there is a good feeling within the team.”
While much of the focus will be on talents like Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi, Youssef En-Nesyri will have a lot of the scoring burden on his shoulders. Whether he can handle that pressure is another matter.

Team News

Source: moroccoworldnews

While Regragui will likely opt for much of the team which amazed in a 3-0 win over Georgia, some modifications are expected with Sofyan Amrabat because of his return in midfield.
Noussair Mazraoui may deputize at left-back, with Achraf Hakimi a certainty on the opposite flank, and his brand name in the team will keep their places elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Dalic is supposed to opt for much of the Croatia team which started the success over Austria in September, with Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic featuring in midfield as expected.
Josip Stanisic is set in line to get the nod at right-back, with Dalic's biggest finding seemingly being who to start in forward out of Bruno Petkovic and Kramaric.

Source: theguardian

Morocco's possible starting lineup:

Bono; Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal

Croatia's possible starting lineup:

Livakovic; Stanisic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Barisic; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Petkovic, Perisic

Source: theguardian


Morocco 1-3 Croatia

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