Morocco v Bafana Bafana- Preview

Bafana Bafana returns to competitive action for the first time since missing out on the FIFA World Cup as they take on Morocco in their first Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 qualifier on Thursday.

The top two teams in Group K, featuring Morocco, South Africa, and Liberia, will qualify for the tournament. Zimbabwe were initially supposed to compete among them but were disqualified due to political interference.

Both Teams In Questionable Form

Since November’s decisive 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Ghana, marred by a controversial refereeing display by Maguette N’Diaye, Bafana have only played two friendlies — drawing 0-0 to Guinea and losing 5-0 to France.

Morocco are far better prepared for this fixture despite a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations campaign this year, which saw them lose 2-1 to Egypt in the quarter-finals. The Atlas Lions recovered by qualifying for this year’s World Cup with a 5-2 aggregate playoff win over DR Congo.

In their most recent friendly last week, Morocco lost 3-0 to the USA, suggesting that they still have some work to do in order to avoid being cannon fodder in Qatar. Furthermore, jetlag might be an issue as they adjust to being back home from Cincinnati.

Instability Haunts Bafana Bafana

Hugo Broos has rung the changes in his squad, with Goodman Mosele the only midfielder retained from the games against France and Guinea. Andile Jali and Themba Zwane are, however, still not in the squad.

Percy Tau and Bongokuhle Hlongwane headline a stronger attacking force than the one from their last two friendlies. However, Bafana appears to be an unsettled side at the moment. To make matters worse, left-back Terrence Mashego has had to withdraw from the squad with injury.

They have not scored in their last three matches and have only netted twice in their last five fixtures.

The match will take place in Rabat, with Morocco still on a high after Wydad Casablanca’s CAF Champions League success. However, the national team squad largely consists of overseas stars, with Achraf Hakimi and Adel Taarabt among the most recognisable names.

Morocco should have too much firepower for Bafana on home soil, with the Atlas Lions predicted to shut Hugo Broos’ side out.

Prediction: Morocco 2-0 Bafana Bafana

Best Bet: Morocco Win To Nil


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Author: editor

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