Morocco manager Vahid Halilhodzic has been on a quest to rebuild his relationships with a couple of Moroccan national team players ahead of the Atlas Lions’ 2022 FIFA World Cup participation in Qatar and two previously estranged members of the squad are back in the fold. Following a successful season on loan at France Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille from German club Schalke, French-born midfielder Amine Harit is back as well as new Bayern Munich signing Noussair Mazraoui for Morocco’s opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixtures against South Africa and Liberia in Group K. Chelsea playmaker Hakim Ziyech, meanwhile, continues to maintain his distance from Halilhodzic and the Morocco setup.
The Atlas Lions will host South Africa in Rabat on June 9 with a matchup against Liberia four days later. Due to Liberia not having a suitable stadium by CAF standards, the second match is set as a “home” fixture for Liberia but will take place Casablanca. Regulars including the center back pairing of Romain Saïss and Nayef Aguerd are in camp along with full backs Achraf Hakimi and Adam Masina. Midfielder Adel Taarabt is back in the fold while forward Sofiane Boufal is out due to injury.
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