Herve Renard names Morocco squad for crunch qualifier


Morocco coach Herve Renard has named a 26-man squad for the crunch 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Ivory Coast on November 11.

The Atlas Lions will face the Elephants in a Group C decider in Abidjan next week Saturday.

The North Africans need only avoid defeat to secure their first World Cup ticket since 1998, while the hosts must win to leapfrog to the top of the standings and qualify for a fourth successive global tournament.

Renard’s selection includes Achraf Bencharki, who scored a brilliant goal for Wydad Casablanca last weekend in the first leg of the CAF Champions League final, as well as Feyenoord’s Soufiane Amrabat – a player the Dutch football authorities still hope to snatch from under Morocco’s noses.

Soufiane Boufal of Southampton also makes a return to the team following the good form he has shown in the Premier League in recent weeks.

Morocco squad:

Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui, Yassine Bounou, Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti

Defenders: Mehdi Benatia, Ghanem Saiss, Jawad El Yamiq, Achraf Hakimi, Nabil Dirar, Walid El Hajjam, Hamza Mendyl, Fouad Chafik, Badr Banoun

Midfielders: Karim El Ahmadi, Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyech, Noureddine Amrabat, M’barek Boussoufa, Amine Harit, Fayçal Fajr

Forwards: Soufiane Boufal, Ismail El Haddad, Soufiane Amrabat, Mimoun Mahi, Rachid Allioui, Khalid Boutaib, Achraf Bencharki

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