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Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi

FIFA World Cup preview: Morocco

Morocco is another interesting combatant in a diverse World Cup in Russia.

This northern African nation has not played in the World Cup finals in 20 years and face a tough task of getting out of their pool here.

Morocco has been grouped with Spain, effectively meaning they will have to duke it out with Estonia and Iran for the remaining ticket out of the group stage.

It is a tough assignment, but Morocco are not a blow in nation stocked with local players just happy to be here.

There is plenty of talent across the board and teams that underestimate Morocco do so at their peril.

The draw for Morocco

Estonia, June 10

Iran, June 16

Spain, June 26

The star players

Real Madrid fullback Achraf Hakimi (pictured) and Juventus central defender Medhi Benatia are the two main stars in this roster, although there are players from leagues all through Europe. Hakiki was named one of the top 50 most promising under-20 players in Europe and is a real talent while Benatia is a man in demand, with Arsenal reportedly in the hunt for his services. Both will be looking for big tournaments here. 

What needs to go right

Upsets happen in sport, but the reality is that Spain is likely to cruise through the group without losing a match. So every game becomes vital for the other three nations, as only one of them are going to make it through. Battles against Estonia and Iran will be huge for Morocco and jagging a draw against Spain could be the factor that splits these three sides. Almost impossible to predict, but this group should present plenty of entertaining clashes.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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