• CAF CL: Wydad relying on home form in African Champions League semis

    (BBC Sports) Wydad Casablanca will hope their superb home form in this year's African Champions League can carry them through to their first final since 2011.

    The 1992 champions have won all five of their matches in Morocco this season without conceding a goal.

    On Saturday, they host Algerians USM Alger in the second leg of the semi-final, which is poised at 0-0.

    Whoever wins will meet the victor of Sunday's game between Al Ahly and Tunisians Etoile du Sahel in Cairo.

    Etoile lead 2-1 from the first leg played on 1 October.

    Wydad coach Hussein Amotta has called on his players to take the game to USMA, who were runners-up two years ago as they reached the final for the first time in their history.

    "My players should focus on the technical, tactical and mental aspects because this is not a match where mistakes can be made," said Amotta.

    "So we have to pay attention to certain details. As the match will be in our stadium, we will be supported by our fans but, at the same time, we must show courage in attack while also having a strong defence."

    Saturday's game will take place at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, which can accommodate 67,000 fans.

    USMA have yet to win on their travels in this season's Champions League but have drawn their last three away games in the competition 1-1, a result that would be good enough to take them through on Saturday.

    Read more...
  • Serie A: Benatia to miss Udinese

    By Football Italia staff

    Juventus defender Medhi Benatia will reportedly miss Sunday’s match against Udinese with a bruised ankle.

    Benatia was replaced midway through Juve’s 2-1 win against Sporting CP on Wednesday, and Tuttosport claims tests showed ‘heavy’ bruising to his left ankle.

    Although “it seems unlikely that he can recover” for the trip to Udine, the newspaper expects him to ‘definitely’ return against SPAL next weekend.

    The 30-year-old has made just three appearances in Serie A this season but completed 90 minutes in each of them.

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  • Moroccans abroad: Benatia will undergo medical tests for bruised ankle

    Important win in the 3rd round of the Champions League group stage against Sporting Clube de Portugal, but Juventus are now shifting their focus back to Serie A and their upcoming game against Udinese. Medhi Benatia is questionable for the game on Sunday, as he was substituted at half time with a bruised ankle. The defender will undergo medical tests in the afternoon that will clarify the extent of the injury.

    http://gianlucadimarzio.com/en/juventus-benatia-will-undergo-medical-tests-for-bruised-ankle

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Watch Achraf Hakimi Express ‘Delight’ with Playing for Real Madrid in Moroccan Arabic

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – Moroccan-Spanish footballer Achraf Hakimi gave thanks for being given the opportunity to play with Real Madrid after a Champions League group-stage match on Tuesday against Tottenham.

    Speaking with a beIN Sports reporter, the 18-year-old defender said that he “was very delighted to take part in such an important game.”

    “I am very happy for the trust I was given by our coach and with all that is happening with me,” said Hakimi.

    In Arabic,the beIN Sports reported asked Hakimi how he feels to play for Los Blancos and represent Morocco and all Arab people. The Spanish-born defender expressed his happiness in Moroccan Arabic saying that “I am very happy to play with the best team in the world.”

    The footballer also said he was hopeful for Morocco’s upcoming World Cup Qualifier against Ivory Coast, which is scheduled to take place on November 11 in Abidjan.

    “We, Inshallah [God willing], will win in the next month and will qualify for 2018 World Cup,” said Hakimi.

    Real Madrid played against Tottenham on October 17 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

    This was not the first time that Hakimi played with Los Blancos. The defender made his official debut on October 1 against RCD Espanyol. His second performance for Real Madrid was against Getafe on October 14, when his team defeated the opponent with a 2-1 victory. He then played a game against Tottenham on October 17.

    Tuesday’s game finished with a 1-1 draw.

    https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/10/231558/achraf-hakimi-real-madrid-moroccan-arabic-football/

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  • NT: The Atlas Lions are the most expensive Arab team with 94 million euro worth of players

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Benatia injured

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Mehdi Benatia suffers from ankle problems following the Champions League match with his Italian side Juventus against Sporting Lisbon yesterday.

    http://www.alfredopedulla.com/juve-problema-alla-caviglia-benatia-condizioni-valutare/

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  • NT: Oussama Tannane called up for the crucial qualifers against Ivory Coast on November 11. #CIVMAR

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  • CHAN 2018: Draw on November 17th in Rabat

    (CAFonline.com) The draw ceremony for the 5th edition of the Total African Nations Championship, Morocco 2018, will take place on Friday, 17th November 2017 in Rabat, Morocco. The competition scheduled from 12th January to 4th February 2018 in Morocco, in the cities of Agadir, Casablanca, Marrakech and Tangier, will bring together 16 national teams constituted of local based players.

    A meeting of the Organizing Committee of Total CHAN, schedule for November 15th, still in Rabat, will decide on the draw procedures.

    The Democratic Republic of Congo, winner of the last edition in Rwanda, will not defend its title because eliminated by its neighbor Congo. Qualified countries are:

    - Morocco (host country)

    - Egypt, Libya (Northern Zone)

    - Uganda, Sudan (Central-East Zone)

    - Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea (Central Zone)

    - Guinea, Mauritania (West A Zone)

    - Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria (West B Zone)

    - Angola, Namibia, Zambia (South Zone)

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  • Achraf Hakimi: The Moroccan teenager who could get very familiar with Tottenham

    (HTC) Real Madrid could be pushed into handing Achraf Hakimi a surprise Champions League debut against Tottenham Hotspur this week.

    Injuries to defenders including Dani Carvaljal have left Real short at right-back, and Hakimi has been given the nod in their last two La Liga games.

    Hakimi helped keep a clean sheet in the 2-0 win over Espanyol, before playing his part in the 2-1 win over Getafe on Saturday.

    Hakimi came through Real's academy, and has been fast-tracked into the side by coach Zinedine Zidane, having featured also on the club's pre-season tour.

    He has made four international appearances for Morocco already, scoring once, but this week against Tottenham would be by far the biggest challenge of his career to date.

    He will be tasked with helping to deal with the prolific Harry Kane, who has scored in every away match he has played in this season.

    If Hakimi is given the nod, the Champions League game at the Bernabeu will be one he remembers for the rest of his life. He will hope it ends up being for positive reasons.

    Read more...
  • WC2018: FIFA confirms eight top-seeded teams in World Cup draw

    (AP) Zurich: The latest FIFA ranking placed Saudi Arabia in the 63rd which makes the Green Falcons in the fourth pot for the World Cup finals draw and Egypt in the 30th rank and the third pot for the Pharaohs.

    Tunisia, which has one game left against Libya in Rades, needs at least one point or a draw for DR Congo against Guniea. Tunisia ranked 28th which makes the Eagles of Carthage in the third pot.

    Morocco needs at least one point against Ivory Coast when they meet Abidjan next month, the Atlas Lions was ranked 48th which puts them in the fourth pot.

    FIFA has confirmed the seven highest-ranked nations joining host Russia as top-seeded teams in the World Cup finals draw.

    France rises one place to the seventh place to edge out Spain, as defending champion Germany heads an unchanged top six.

    After a busy qualifying program last week, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium and Poland are also top-seeded for the Dec. 1 draw in Moscow.

    FIFA uses October rankings to decide all four seeding pots despite nine places in the 32-team World Cup finals lineup to be decided in November.

    Russia is top-seeded for the World Cup despite being ranked No. 65.

    Chile at No. 9 is the highest-ranked team eliminated from the World Cup.

    Mexico at No. 16 heads CONCACAF teams. The eliminated United States is No. 27.

    Tunisia at No. 28 is Africa's best, and No. 34 Iran leads Asia.

    Read more...

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