It is a clash of two African heavyweights in Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations as Morocco square off against Ghana at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo on Monday.
The Black Stars will be seeking their fifth title, while the Atlas Lions will be looking to end their 45-year wait for the continental crown following their 1976 triumph.
Morocco enjoyed a sensational qualifying journey where they finished at the summit of Group E to secure smooth entry into the group stages of the tournament.
The Atlas Lions were one of eight sides to go unbeaten in the qualifiers, winning four and drawing two to amass 14 points, five points ahead of runners-up Mauritania.
Morocco head into Monday’s game on the back of a quarter-final exit from the Arab Cup as they were beaten on penalties by eventual winners Algeria following a 2-2 draw after extra time.
Prior to that, Vahid Halilhodzic’s men tasted competitive defeat in July 2019, when they were beaten by Benin on penalties in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations — a run of 22 games in which they won 19 and draw three.
Morocco will now look to make up for their Arab Cup woes and secure the continental crown, and three points against fellow group favourites Ghana will be a dream start for the one-time African champion.
Ghana, on the other hand, head into Cameroon as the third-most successful nation at the tournament, claiming the Africa Cup of Nations title on four different occasions.
However, the Black Stars last conquered the continent four decades ago, when they saw off host nation Libya on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time back in 1982.
While they have made it to three different finals since then, they have fallen short on each occasion, with their most recent shortcoming being in 2015, when they lost on penalties at the hands of Ivory Coast.
Ghana secured their place in this year’s edition of the tournament following an impressive qualifying run where they won four, drew one and lost one to collect 13 points from six games and finish top of Group C.
Milovan Rajevac’s side head into Monday’s game fresh off the back of a 3-0 defeat against reigning African champions Algeria when the sides met in Qatar in a pre-AFCON warm-up friendly.
Morocco form (all competitions):
Ghana Africa Cup of Nations form:
We say: Morocco 3-1 Ghana
Despite their Arab Cup defeat against Algeria last time out, Morocco head into the tournament as one of the most in-form sides and favourites to go all the way. While we expect Ghana to put up a fight, we are tipping the Atlas Lions to come away with all three points as they boast a significantly superior squad.