Preview: Morocco vs. Chile

Preview: Morocco vs. Chile

On the back of a winning start to Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying and with the World Cup looming, Morocco will aim to continue building momentum when they take on Chile in an International Friendly in Spain on Friday.

The Atlas Lions have seen a pair of qualifying games against Zimbabwe postponed, meaning their two upcoming friendlies are their last scheduled outings before travelling to Qatar in November.

Morocco come into a pair of friendlies in September with their sights set on the start of the World Cup in November, having booked their spot in the global competition for a second consecutive time after reaching the group stage for the first time since the turn on the millennium in 2018.

The Atlas Lions firstly cruised through their second-round qualifying group with six victories from six games, booking a two-legged tie with Congo in March with a place in Qatar on the line as a result.

The away leg would finish in a 1-1 draw before Morocco took control on home soil, winning 4-1 on the night and sealing their advancement as Azzedine Ounahi hit a brace alongside goals from Tarik Tissoudali and Achraf Hakimi.

Their return to competitive action then came in June with the beginning of Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying, and after bowing out of the quarter-finals in last year’s tournament, they kicked off qualification with 2-1 and 2-0 victories over South Africa and Liberia respectively, with Ayoub El Kaabi hitting an 87th-minute winner in the former and Youssef En-Nesyri getting on the scoresheet in both contests.

Now fully in preparation for the tournament in Qatar in two months, Walid Regragui’s men will aim to continue building momentum with a friendly win on Friday.

Their opponents, meanwhile, do not have the World Cup to look forward to, as Chile fell short in South American qualifying.

Three straight wins, twice beating Paraguay and once beating Venezuela, put La Roja in a strong position to take a top-five finish, but they would suffer a major dip in form in the final run of fixtures and drop out of contention.

After bouncing back from consecutive defeats with a 3-2 win over Bolivia, Chile failed to keep pace with Peru and Colombia in the last two rounds of games, eventually dropping to seventh spot following 4-0 and 2-0 defeats to Brazil and Uruguay respectively.

Such an outcome quickly brought Martin Lasarte’s stint as national team manager to an end, and following the subsequent appointment of Eduardo Berizzo, La Roja would go on to suffer Kirin Cup defeats to Tunisia and Ghana in June.

Having not yet won under their new boss, with their last taste of victory coming in February, Chile will now be desperate to rebuild some confidence in this round of friendlies with a pair of positive results.

Morocco International Friendlies form:
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Morocco form (all competitions):
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Chile International Friendlies form:
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Chile form (all competitions):
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We say: Morocco 2-1 Chile
Morocco may boast a slightly stronger and fresher squad than their opponents, and with the added motivation of the looming World Cup, we back them to scrape a narrow victory on Friday.

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