AFCON Preview: Morocco

The next team in our series of AFCON preview are The Atlas Lions. Morocco have been talked up as one of the favorites going into the tournament in Cameroon. We spoke with Benjamin Hajji to find more about the team.

What are you expecting from Morocco in this tournament? What is a realistic target?

I’m expecting Morocco to be as solid as we’ve been in qualifiers. Strong defensive block and hopefully enough power up front to score the necessary goals. Despite not always playing great football under Vahid Halilhodzic, we have decent results to show for and head into the AFCON unbeaten in official matches since the 2018 World Cup (not counting penalty loss to Benin).

A realistic target would be the semi-finals. On paper, we don’t have the strongest squad, but the coach has managed to put together a hard-working and well-structured team. We should go through from the group comfortably and after that, anything can happen.

Which player in the team is the most important?

Achraf Hakimi is obviously the biggest name and he will be crucial on that right-hand side. But for me it has to be captain Romain Saïss. He has barely set a foot wrong in a Morocco shirt since 2017 and is the silent leader we need at the back. Special mention to Sofyan Amrabat as well, who is doing the job of two players in that holding midfielder position.

Which other nations do you think will be the toughest opponents?

You can’t ignore Senegal. I just have the feeling that this might be their year. They have the strongest core in the tournament, with Mendy in goal, Koulibaly at the back, Gana in the middle, and Mané leading the attack. Aliou Cissé has also been leading this team for a long time and they’ve managed to keep most of the key players from both the 2018 WC and 2019 AFCON. Apart from them, you have to mention Algeria who are yet to lose a match under Djamel Belmadi since they last won the tournament. Behind those two it’s fairly even between several sides, Morocco included.

Tell us about your coach and his playing style.

All about balance. Vahid aims to control the game, but without sending too many players forward. We are usually playing in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 with wingers who drift inside and full-backs running on the overlap. Especially on the right, where Ilias Chair finds space in the middle while Hakimi keeps width. We are dangerous on set-pieces and counter-attacks.

What do you think of the fact that it was reported the Morocco team brought its own food, water, and staff to the tournament? What’s the reason?

Personally, I think it’s a story that’s been blown out of proportion. Most of the things listed are completely standard for any national team taking themselves seriously. The football federation doesn’t want to leave anything up to chance and aims to provide the best conditions possible for the players to do well. It’s as simple as that.

EthPL

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Round 1
1 Oct 2023 15:00
ADA
0
0
CBE
1 Oct 2023 18:00
SID
0
1
BUN
2 Oct 2023 15:00
SHA
0
1
WOD
2 Oct 2023 18:00
HAM
1
2
DIR
3 Oct 2023 15:00
HAW
3
3
FSK
3 Oct 2023 18:00
HOS
2
3
MEC
4 Oct 2023 15:00
KDG
4
1
WOL
4 Oct 2023 18:00
EIC
3
2
BDR
Round 2
12 Oct 2023 15:00
DIR
0
1
BUN
12 Oct 2023 18:00
CBE
1
0
HOS
13 Oct 2023 15:00
HAM
1
2
KDG
13 Oct 2023 18:00
FSK
1
1
EIC
14 Oct 2023 15:00
WOL
1
1
SID
14 Oct 2023 18:00
WOD
0
1
ADA
15 Oct 2023 15:00
BDR
2
1
MEC
15 Oct 2023 18:00
SHA
0
1
HAW
Round 3
19 Oct 2023 15:00
EIC
0
1
WOD
19 Oct 2023 18:00
SID
0
1
FSK
20 Oct 2023 15:00
HOS
0
0
WOL
20 Oct 2023 18:00
KDG
3
2
SHA
21 Oct 2023 15:00
MEC
1
1
CBE
21 Oct 2023 18:00
HAW
0
0
DIR
22 Oct 2023 15:00
ADA
2
2
HAM
22 Oct 2023 18:00
BUN
2
2
BDR
Round 4
25 Oct 2023 15:00
SHA
1
3
SID
25 Oct 2023 18:00
DIR
2
3
CBE
26 Oct 2023 15:00
HAW
0
0
EIC
26 Oct 2023 18:00
WOL
0
3
BDR
27 Oct 2023 18:00
KDG
2
2
ADA
28 Oct 2023 15:00
HAM
0
0
HOS
28 Oct 2023 15:00
FSK
2
0
BUN
28 Oct 2023 18:00
WOD
0
1
MEC
Round 5
31 Oct 2023 15:00
HOS
0
0
SHA
31 Oct 2023 18:00
CBE
2
0
WOL
1 Nov 2023 15:00
ADA
2
1
DIR
1 Nov 2023 18:00
MEC
1
0
HAM
2 Nov 2023 15:00
SID
0
1
HAW
2 Nov 2023 18:00
EIC
0
3
KDG
3 Nov 2023 15:00
BDR
0
0
FSK
3 Nov 2023 18:00
BUN
2
2
WOD
Round 6
7 Dec 2023 15:00
DIR
1
1
WOD
7 Dec 2023 18:00
HAM
0
3
FSK
8 Dec 2023 15:00
EIC
0
1
MEC
8 Dec 2023 18:00
SHA
0
1
WOL
9 Dec 2023 15:00
KDG
1
2
BDR
9 Dec 2023 18:00
SID
0
0
HOS
10 Dec 2023 15:00
ADA
2
1
BUN
10 Dec 2023 18:00
HAW
0
3
CBE
Round 7
7 Dec 2023 15:00
WOL
1
0
HAM
7 Dec 2023 18:00
FSK
0
2
WOD
8 Dec 2023 15:00
MEC
2
1
ADA
8 Dec 2023 18:00
BDR
2
1
HAW
9 Dec 2023 15:00
BUN
1
0
KDG
Postponed
9 Dec 2023 18:00
HOS
1
1
EIC
10 Dec 2023 15:00
CBE
2
1
SHA
10 Dec 2023 18:00
SID
0
2
DIR
Round 8
14 Dec 2023 15:00
HAW
0
3
KDG
14 Dec 2023 18:00
WOL
0
2
MEC
15 Dec 2023 15:00
FSK
1
2
HOS
15 Dec 2023 18:00
DIR
1
2
BDR
16 Dec 2023 15:00
CBE
2
1
BUN
16 Dec 2023 18:00
HAM
0
2
EIC
17 Dec 2023 15:00
WOD
1
4
SID
17 Dec 2023 18:00
SHA
1
1
ADA
Round 9
3 Jan 2024 15:00
EIC
0
1
SID
3 Jan 2024 18:00
ADA
0
1
HOS
4 Jan 2024 15:00
SHA
0
0
BDR
4 Jan 2024 18:00
KDG
1
1
MEC
5 Jan 2024 15:00
DIR
0
3
FSK
5 Jan 2024 18:00
HAW
1
2
BUN
6 Jan 2024 15:00
HAM
0
2
CBE
6 Jan 2024 18:00
WOD
2
1
WOL
Round 10
9 Jan 2024 15:00
BUN
1
1
SHA
9 Jan 2024 18:00
SID
0
0
ADA
10 Jan 2024 15:00
MEC
2
1
HAW
10 Jan 2024 18:00
HOS
0
0
KDG
11 Jan 2024 15:00
EIC
1
2
DIR
11 Jan 2024 18:00
BDR
0
0
HAM
12 Jan 2024 15:00
WOL
0
1
FSK
12 Jan 2024 18:00
CBE
0
1
WOD
Round 11
15 Jan 2024 15:00
BUN
1
1
HOS
15 Jan 2024 18:00
BDR
0
2
SID
16 Jan 2024 15:00
WOD
1
2
HAW
16 Jan 2024 18:00
WOL
0
0
ADA
17 Jan 2024 15:00
DIR
1
3
MEC
17 Jan 2024 18:00
CBE
4
1
EIC
18 Jan 2024 15:00
HAM
0
3
SHA
18 Jan 2024 18:00
FSK
0
1
KDG
Round 12
25 Jan 2024 15:00
EIC
1
1
SHA
25 Jan 2024 18:00
MEC
0
0
FSK
26 Jan 2024 16:00
BDR
1
2
CBE
26 Jan 2024 19:00
ADA
3
2
HAW
27 Jan 2024 16:00
KDG
0
3
DIR
27 Jan 2024 19:00
SID
0
2
HAM
28 Jan 2024 15:00
BUN
1
0
WOL
28 Jan 2024 18:00
HOS
1
1
WOD
Round 13
1 Feb 2024 15:00
WOD
1
0
HAM
1 Feb 2024 18:00
CBE
0
3
KDG
2 Feb 2024 15:00
HOS
0
0
DIR
2 Feb 2024 18:00
BUN
3
0
EIC
3 Feb 2024 15:00
MEC
2
1
SID
3 Feb 2024 18:00
BDR
1
2
ADA
4 Feb 2024 15:00
WOL
1
2
HAW
4 Feb 2024 18:00
FSK
2
0
SHA
Round 14
8 Feb 2024 15:00
SID
2
1
CBE
8 Feb 2024 18:00
MEC
0
4
BUN
9 Feb 2024 15:00
HOS
1
0
BDR
9 Feb 2024 18:00
HAW
2
0
HAM
10 Feb 2024 15:00
ADA
1
1
FSK
10 Feb 2024 18:00
SHA
1
1
DIR
11 Feb 2024 15:00
KDG
1
1
WOD
11 Feb 2024 18:00
EIC
0
0
WOL
Round 15
15 Feb 2024 15:00
ADA
2
2
EIC
15 Feb 2024 18:00
HAM
0
0
BUN
16 Feb 2024 15:00
KDG
1
0
SID
16 Feb 2024 18:00
FSK
2
4
CBE
17 Feb 2024 15:00
WOD
0
1
BDR
17 Feb 2024 18:00
SHA
0
1
MEC
18 Feb 2024 15:00
HAW
1
1
HOS
18 Feb 2024 18:00
DIR
1
0
WOL
Round 16
29 Feb 2024 16:00
BDR
0
0
EIC
29 Feb 2024 19:00
DIR
1
0
HAM
1 Mar 2024 16:00
MEC
2
3
HOS
1 Mar 2024 19:00
FSK
2
1
HAW
2 Mar 2024 16:00
WOL
0
2
KDG
2 Mar 2024 19:00
WOD
1
2
SHA
3 Mar 2024 16:00
BUN
3
0
SID
3 Mar 2024 19:00
CBE
4
1
ADA
Round 17
7 Mar 2024 16:00
HAW
-
-
SHA
7 Mar 2024 19:00
MEC
-
-
BDR
8 Mar 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
WOD
8 Mar 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
WOL
9 Mar 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
FSK
9 Mar 2024 19:00
KDG
-
-
HAM
10 Mar 2024 16:00
HOS
-
-
CBE
10 Mar 2024 19:00
BUN
-
-
DIR
Round 18
14 Mar 2024 16:00
BDR
-
-
BUN
14 Mar 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
ADA
15 Mar 2024 16:00
DIR
-
-
HAW
15 Mar 2024 19:00
CBE
-
-
MEC
16 Mar 2024 16:00
SHA
-
-
KDG
16 Mar 2024 19:00
WOL
-
-
HOS
17 Mar 2024 16:00
FSK
-
-
SID
17 Mar 2024 19:00
WOD
-
-
EIC
Round 19
28 Mar 2024 16:00
MEC
-
-
WOD
28 Mar 2024 19:00
BUN
-
-
FSK
29 Mar 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
KDG
29 Mar 2024 19:00
HOS
-
-
HAM
30 Mar 2024 16:00
BDR
-
-
WOL
30 Mar 2024 19:00
EIC
-
-
HAW
31 Mar 2024 16:00
CBE
-
-
DIR
31 Mar 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
SHA
Round 20
4 Apr 2024 16:00
WOL
-
-
WOD
4 Apr 2024 19:00
CBE
-
-
HAM
5 Apr 2024 16:00
BUN
-
-
HAW
5 Apr 2024 19:00
FSK
-
-
DIR
6 Apr 2024 16:00
MEC
-
-
KDG
6 Apr 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
SHA
7 Apr 2024 16:00
HOS
-
-
ADA
7 Apr 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
EIC
Round 21
11 Apr 2024 16:00
CBE
-
-
HAW
11 Apr 2024 19:00
WOD
-
-
DIR
12 Apr 2024 16:00
FSK
-
-
HAM
12 Apr 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
KDG
13 Apr 2024 16:00
WOL
-
-
SHA
13 Apr 2024 19:00
MEC
-
-
EIC
14 Apr 2024 16:00
HOS
-
-
SID
14 Apr 2024 19:00
BUN
-
-
ADA
Round 22
18 Apr 2024 16:00
WOL
-
-
EIC
18 Apr 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
HOS
19 Apr 2024 16:00
HAM
-
-
HAW
19 Apr 2024 19:00
FSK
-
-
ADA
20 Apr 2024 16:00
DIR
-
-
SHA
20 Apr 2024 19:00
WOD
-
-
KDG
21 Apr 2024 16:00
BUN
-
-
MEC
21 Apr 2024 19:00
CBE
-
-
SID
Round 23
2 May 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
SHA
2 May 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
DIR
3 May 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
HAM
3 May 2024 19:00
BUN
-
-
CBE
4 May 2024 16:00
SID
-
-
WOD
4 May 2024 19:00
HOS
-
-
FSK
5 May 2024 16:00
MEC
-
-
WOL
5 May 2024 19:00
KDG
-
-
HAW
Round 24
9 May 2024 16:00
FSK
-
-
BDR
9 May 2024 19:00
DIR
-
-
ADA
10 May 2024 16:00
KDG
-
-
EIC
10 May 2024 19:00
WOL
-
-
CBE
11 May 2024 16:00
HAW
-
-
SID
11 May 2024 19:00
WOD
-
-
BUN
12 May 2024 16:00
SHA
-
-
HOS
12 May 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
MEC
Round 25
16 May 2024 16:00
WOD
-
-
CBE
16 May 2024 19:00
FSK
-
-
WOL
17 May 2024 16:00
HAM
-
-
BDR
17 May 2024 19:00
DIR
-
-
EIC
18 May 2024 16:00
KDG
-
-
HOS
18 May 2024 19:00
HAW
-
-
MEC
19 May 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
SID
19 May 2024 19:00
SHA
-
-
BUN
Round 26
23 May 2024 16:00
WOL
-
-
DIR
23 May 2024 19:00
EIC
-
-
ADA
24 May 2024 16:00
MEC
-
-
SHA
24 May 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
WOD
25 May 2024 16:00
CBE
-
-
FSK
25 May 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
KDG
26 May 2024 16:00
BUN
-
-
HAM
26 May 2024 19:00
HOS
-
-
HAW
Round 27
30 May 2024 16:00
CBE
-
-
BDR
30 May 2024 19:00
WOL
-
-
BUN
31 May 2024 16:00
FSK
-
-
MEC
31 May 2024 19:00
DIR
-
-
KDG
1 Jun 2024 16:00
HAW
-
-
ADA
1 Jun 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
SID
2 Jun 2024 16:00
WOD
-
-
HOS
2 Jun 2024 19:00
SHA
-
-
EIC
Round 28
13 Jun 2024 16:00
SHA
-
-
FSK
13 Jun 2024 19:00
HAW
-
-
WOL
14 Jun 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
BDR
14 Jun 2024 19:00
DIR
-
-
HOS
15 Jun 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
BUN
15 Jun 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
MEC
16 Jun 2024 16:00
KDG
-
-
CBE
16 Jun 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
WOD
Round 29
20 Jun 2024 16:00
HAW
-
-
BDR
20 Jun 2024 19:00
ADA
-
-
MEC
21 Jun 2024 16:00
DIR
-
-
SID
21 Jun 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
WOL
22 Jun 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
HOS
22 Jun 2024 19:00
KDG
-
-
BUN
23 Jun 2024 16:00
WOD
-
-
FSK
23 Jun 2024 19:00
SHA
-
-
CBE
Round 30
27 Jun 2024 16:00
KDG
-
-
FSK
27 Jun 2024 19:00
SHA
-
-
HAM
28 Jun 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
CBE
28 Jun 2024 19:00
MEC
-
-
DIR
29 Jun 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
WOL
29 Jun 2024 19:00
HAW
-
-
WOD
30 Jun 2024 06:00
SID
-
-
BDR
30 Jun 2024 19:00
HOS
-
-
BUN

Standing Table

#
Club
P
W
D
L
Pt
1
16
11
2
3
35
2
16
10
3
3
33
3
16
9
4
3
31
4
16
8
5
3
29
5
16
7
5
4
26
6
16
6
5
5
23
7
16
5
8
3
23
8
16
4
10
2
22
9
16
6
4
6
22
10
16
6
4
6
22
11
16
5
4
7
19
12
16
5
3
8
18
13
16
2
7
7
13
14
16
2
6
8
12
15
16
2
4
10
10
16
16
1
4
11
7

Top scorers chart

#
Player
Played
Goals
1
Kidus Giorgis
10
8
2
Wolaitta Dicha
15
8
3
Fasil Kenema
16
7
4
Ethiopia Bunna
11
6
5
Kidus Giorgis
13
6
6
13
6
7
14
6
8
Adama Ketema
15
6
9
Diredawa Ketema
15
6
10
Ethiopia Nigd Bank
15
5

2023/24 Competitions

competition logo
CAF Champions League
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CAF Confederation Cup
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Ethiopian Cup
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Ethiopian Higher League
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Ethiopian League 1
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Ethiopian Premier League
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Ethiopian U-20 Premier League
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Ethiopian Women's Higher League
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Ethiopian Womens Premier League
P