• AFWCQ 2018: Morocco out to finish job in Mali

    (Supersport.com) )Morocco will chase six points over Mali in their crucial 2018 Fifa World Cup, Group C qualifier clash on Tuesday at the Stade 26 Mars in Bamako.

    Kick-off is at 7:00pm GMT, 9h00pm CET

    The Lions of the Atlas have raised their hopes by demolishing the Eagles 6-0 at home last Friday and will be in high spirits heading to Bamako.

    Although coach Herve Renard has challenged his men to forget about the first leg win and focus on completing the job away, they will have to fight harder in the return leg.

    Despite their free-scoring ability, they will have to guard against complacency and ensure they challenge Ivory Coast at the top of the table.

    The North Africans occupy the second spot with five points from one win and two draws so far in their campaign.

    A victory on Tuesday will see them with eight points to top the table, provided the Elephants lose to Gabon on the same day.

    Looking at the hosts, coach Alain Giresse faces a daunting task to uplift his troops ahead of this encounter at home.

    Based on the log standings, the Eagles are under pressure to return to winning ways as they remain rooted at the bottom of the table with one point.

    They occupy the fourth spot in the group with one point from two losses and one draw.

    Previous Starting XI:

    Mali v Morocco: Sissoko, Wague, Dibassy, Traore, Kouame, Bissouma, Diaby, Konate, Marega, N’Diaye, Sylla

    Morocco v Mali: Munir, Amrabat, Belhanda, Benatia, Boussoufa, Boutaib, Dirar, El Ahmadi, Hakimi, Saiss, Ziyech

    Head-to-Head

    2018 Fifa WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

    01/09/17, Morocco - Mali 6 : 0

    28/05/06, Mali - Morocco 1 : 0

    Goalscorers for Morocco: (Ziyech 19’ + 61’, Boutaib 27’, Hakimi 72’, Fajr 86’, Mahi 89’)

    Goalscorers for Mali: (F. Kanoute 70')

    Key players for Mali:

    Mohamed Konate: One of the experienced defenders in the Eagles camp, Konate will now want to help the team and keep a clean sheet this time around especially in front of home fans.

    Moussa Marega: The 26-year-old Portugal-based striker with Vitoria de Guimaraes will want to score at home and ensure they are victorious. Despite failing to score in the opening leg, his teammates will count on him to find the back of the net.

    Key players for Morocco:

    Hakim Ziyech: Ziyech netted a brace in their big win over the Eagles last Friday. His mission is to find the back of the net once again. The 24-year-old Ajax Amsterdam midfielder will be in high spirits at home.

    Mehdi Benatia: At the age of 30, Benatia remains a vital cog in the Moroccan national teams set up. His ability to lead from the back will be a plus. The Juventus centre back will be key for their quest to retain the full three points.

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