Group of Death?
Many consider Group F, which includes Belgium, Croatia, Canada and Morocco, to be the Group of Death in the 2022 World Cup. So, will Morocco make it out? According to the odds board, their chances aren’t good. Nevertheless, the Atlas Lions finished the qualifiers undefeated.
How Did They Get to Qatar 2022?
Morocco finished the CAF qualifiers with a perfect record. They finished the second round 6-0-0. As if that wasn’t enough, they scored 20 goals and allowed only one. Only Algeria scored more goals with 25, but no other team registered a better defensive record.
In the third and final round, the Atlas Lions collided with Congo. The first leg, in which they drew 1-1, was in Congo. Later, at home, they had no mercy and crushed the Leopards 4-1. Morocco was the only team to score more than two goals in the final round.
Individually, Ayoub El Kaabi was the team’s top scorer with five goals. He was followed by Ryan Mmaee with four. Even so, neither of them is considered the best player on the team, but more on that in a bit.
Head Coach & Top Players
Walid Regragui is a head coach that has had a lot of success on club level. He won the Moroccan Throne Cup with Fath Union Sport, the Qatar Stars League with Al-Duhail and the CAF Champions League with Wydad AC.
That was more than enough for the Moroccan Football Association to trust him with the senior team after sacking Vahid Halilhodzic, who led them to the promised land. Halilhodzic had some disagreements with its president on how the team should move forward.
Regragui made his debut in a friendly match against Chile, which Morocco ended up winning 2-0. Later, they drew 0-0 to Paraguay, meaning he will arrive in Qatar undefeated.
Regarding players, we’re talking about a very talented squad, but there’s no doubt that Morocco’s top player is Achraf Hakimi. The right-back, who can also play as a winger, has won it all with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and PSG. He currently plays for the Parisians.
There’s also Hakim Ziyech, an attacking midfielder or winger who plays for Chelsea. He’s also a certified winner and has scored 17 goals in 42 games with the national team.
Morocco in the 2022 World Cup
As expected, Belgium is the soccer betting favorite to win Group F. The Red Devils are offering a -190 price. They’re followed by Croatia, the 2018 runner-up, who are offering a +250 price. Morocco is at +1000 and Canada at +1200.
The Atlas Lions will make their debut on Nov. 23 against Croatia. Later, they’ll collide with Belgium, meaning they’ll close the Group Stage activity against Canada.
Individually, Ziyech is offering a +12500 price in the sportsbook to win the Golden Boot. El Kaabi is also on the list at +10000.
History of Morocco & the World Cup
Qatar 2022 will be Morocco’s sixth WC. Their best result was 11th in the 1986 edition. They advanced to the Round of 16 and put up a really good fight against Germany, but still ended up losing 1-0.
Their first WC was in 1970, finishing 14th thanks to a 0-1-2 record. Their last was four years ago, in Russia, finishing 27th.
The Atlas Lions average 2.8 goals per WC. Salaheddine Bassir, Abdeljalil Hadda and Abdelrazzak Khairi are the team’s top scorers at the WC with two goals each. Youssef En-Nesyri, who plays for Sevilla, will have the opportunity to join or surpass them. He scored one goal in 2018 and his chances of being in the 2022 edition are extremely high.