Preview: Morocco vs. Cape Verde

Preview: Morocco vs. Cape Verde

Ahead of their return to the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Morocco and Cape Verde battle it out in a friendly at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium on Monday.

The Atlas Lions have already secured qualification for the 2023 AFCON in Ivory Coast following successive wins over South Africa and Liberia in last June’s qualifiers.

It has been exactly six months since Morocco stunned the world in Qatar as they became the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

However, they were denied a place in the final following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of France before losing 2-1 against Croatia in the third-place matchup on December 17.

Morocco returned to action on March 25, when they stunned Brazil at the Grand Stade de Tanger where Sofiane Boufal and Abdelhamid Sabiri scored in either half to condemn the Selecao to a 2-1 friendly loss.

However, Walid Regragui’s men were held to a goalless draw by Peru three days later, a result which brought their run of two back-to-back friendly victories to an end.

Morocco became the first nation to secure their spot in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations thanks to victories over South Africa and Liberia in their opening two qualifying matches back in June 2022.

The goal for the Atlas Lions will be to finish top of Group K, as they sit two points above second-placed South Africa, having played one less game than the Bafana Bafana.

Cape Verde, on the other hand, are on the cusp of securing a fourth AFCON appearance as they need a win in their last two Group B games to seal their place in Ivory Coast.

After losing 2-0 to Burkina Faso in last June’s group opener, a run of two wins and one draw in their subsequent three matches has rekindled hopes of successive AFCON appearances.

The Tubaroes Azuis, who reached the round of 16 of the 2022 AFCON, were last in action on March 28, when they beat Eswatini 1-0 at the Mbombela Stadium courtesy of a second-half effort from Ryan Mendes.

With seven points from four games, Bubista’s men are currently second in Group B, three points off first-placed Burkina Faso and five above rock-bottom Togo.

Cape Verde are currently on a run of four wins in their last five friendly outings, most recently in September 2022, when they edged out Bahrain 2-1 thanks to goals from Diney Borges and Mendes.

Morocco friendly form:

Morocco form (all competitions):

Cape Verde friendly form:

Cape Verde form (all competitions):

We say: Morocco 2-0 Cape Verde
We expect Morocco to have too much quality for Cape Verde, who have failed to win their previous three meetings. Given the gulf in quality and experience between the two sides, we are backing the Atlas Lions to come out on top in front of their home supporters.

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