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Preview: Ghana vs. Morocco

Group C action kicks off on Monday at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with a blockbuster duel between West African powerhouse Ghana and the Atlas Lions of Morocco. A young Ghana side will be the underdogs against a Moroccan side that have never lost a competitive match under the watch of current coach Vahid Halilhodžić, in charge since August 2019. Ghana, meanwhile, will be led by Serbian Milovan Rajevac, the architect of the Black Stars’ run to the quarterfinal of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In the Ghana national side, the major focus continues to be on the talented youth in attack. Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, the 17-year-old who won the award for Best Player at the 2021 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, may be in line to earn a start due to his performance in the team’s 3-0 friendly defeat to Algeria last Wednesday. Rennes winger Kamaldeen Sulemana arrived late to camp and may be a substitute, but Ghanaian supporters will be delighted with the news that there is no absences due to Covid-19 or any other injuries. Ghana captain André “Dede” Ayew, who looks set to start along with his brother Jordan, stated his belief in his younger attacking cohorts and offered his leadership as he gets ready to take part in his seventh AFCON.

For Morocco, the Covid-19 and injury news is not so pleasant. The Atlas Lions staff have been as quiet as possible regarding details but Halilhodžić acknowledged that multiple players will be missing, hinting that the attack will be impacted. Lions de L’Atlas and Morocco World News report that forwards Ayoub El Kaabi, Munir El Haddadi and Ryan Mmaee will be out with El Kaabi and El Haddadi due to Covid-19 and Mmaee because of a minor injury. Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Aymen Barkok is on the quarantine list as well making the attacking setup anyone’s guess. The Atlas Lions have plenty of familiarity in the defense and midfield, however, with Achraf Hakimi ready to be a threat down the right flank.

Check out the links below to read what the players and managers are saying from Ghanaian and Moroccan media ahead of Monday’s showdown.

Afcon 2021: How Ghana could line up vs Morocco (Goal)

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