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Morocco - World Cup 2018

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The only African team to have made it to a World Cup group of 16 stage, are making their first appearance in 20 years.

The last time the Atlas Lions were in the world cup was France in '98 when they almost made it out of the group stage. This time around the team has an airtight defense but will need a small miracle to make it out of their group.

Spain and Portugal are powerful clubs that don't fail against a team like this unless there is a major catastrophe.

Morocco’s World Cup History

As mentioned earlier, Morocco is the only African team in history to make it to the group of 16, which they did in 1986, after winning their group ahead of England, Poland, and Portugal.

They were eliminated in a 1-0 game in the round of 16 by West Germany, who eventually made it to the final that year.

Since then, the Lions have only made it to the World Cup two other times, in 94' and 98'. In 94' they went 0-3 in the group stage and in 98' they had a 1-1-1 record in the groups and needed a loss or a draw by Norway in their final game against Brazil, that fell to pieces when Norway pulled off an upset with two scored goals in the final 12 minutes of the game. Morocco was thus eliminated and has not returned to the World Cup since.

Morocco’s Road To The 2018 World Cup

This year, the Moroccans literally made no mistake in qualifying as they did not allow a single goal in any of their qualifying games.

The team went 3-3-0 in their group, shutting out Ivory Coast, Gabon, and Mali. Khalid Boutaïb led the team in scoring over that time, netting 4 goals which tied him for second amongst all CAF qualifiers.

Since then, Morocco has hosted and won the 2018 Africa Cup of Nations. Because the tournament was domestic, Morocco was not able to field some of their better players, but still managed to employ a stifling defense, letting up only one goal in the group stage and one more through three knockout rounds.

How Does The Morocco World Cup 2018 Group Stack Up?

Morocco's advantage for Russia 2018 lies in its X-factor as a relatively unknown team with little international experience.

Few players have more than a handful of caps, but that does not mean that the team is without talent. Captain Mehdi Benatia has played on several European clubs and currently plays for Juventus.

Midfielders Karim El Ahmadi and M’barek Boussoufa also have extensive experience playing in Europe and alongside Hakim Ziyech and Younès Belhanda make up a formidable attack. Nordin Amrabat serves as a strong winger. 

Morocco Odds To Win World Cup 2018

The best odds this team has at winning is its game against Iran where they are 5/4 odds-on favorite to win.

Don't expect them to move out of the group stage, though. Even so, should Spain or Portugal's offense go cold, the stonewall defense of this relatively unknown Moroccan team could catch one of the giants by surprise.

Odds of this team making out of the group stage are 5-1, and they are heavy odds-against underdogs in their games against Spain (8/1) and Portugal (6/+1). The best they can hope for is that the loser of the Spain-Portugal is tense and nervous and has trouble performing against a defensive-minded squad.

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Morocco World Cup 2018

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