After a late Namibia own goal ensured Morocco won their opening encounter, they sealed qualification with a clinical 1-0 against Ivory Coast. The Atlas Lions will look to seal top spot with a win but South Africa won't be pushovers as they are still firmly in the running to qualify for the knockout stages at the expense of Ivory Coast.
Having retained their core group of players from last year's World Cup campaign, Morocco went in to the AFCON with a sense of expectation on their shoulders and they haven't disappointed thus far. They go in to this game as overwhelming favorites but with qualification at stake, South Africa will be aiming to cause an upset and if it's any consolation, history favors them. In the previous meeting between the two sides, South Africa recorded a 1-0 and are unbeaten in 5 outings against Morocco.
Key Match Facts
Morocco have never won a competitive fixture against South Africa. (D3 L2)
Both teams have managed to find the back of the net in each of the last 5 meetings with one another.
The last three outings between these two teams have ended in draws.
With qualification already in the bag, Morocco will look to make changes. Moussair Mazraoui, fresh from winning the domestic double and reaching the Champions League Semi-final with Ajax, could be drafted in to the XI at the expense of Nabil Dirar. Younes Belhanda could be rested with one eye on the knockout stages, having struggled with injuries at the start of the tournament. Hakim Ziyech, who has been one of the breakthrough stars of the 18/19 season, will look make a mark and earn himself a big move to one of Europe's elite clubs. Ajax have reluctantly agreed to let him go and the reported £30 million release clause is sure to attract a whole host of bidders.
Morocco already have qualification in the bag and can seal top spot with a draw. With one eye on the knockout stages, they can afford to rest a few players to keep them fresh for the business end of the tournament. Hervé Renard will be vary of making too many changes to a team that's consistently winning games but it's possible that Morocco could use players on the fringes of the squad.
Predicted XI: Yassine Bounou, Noussair Mazraoui, Medhi Benatia, Romain Saiss, Achraf Hakimi, Karim El-Ahmadi, Mbark Boussoufa, Youssef Ait Bennasser, Nordin Amrabat, Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-NesyriPublished 01 Jul 2019, 18:11 IST