This will be a good test for Morocco who are gearing up for their first World Cup since 2018. Ukraine are a solid European side and how the North Africans go against them will give us a better idea of how they might shape up in a tough World Cup group which features Spain and Portugal.
If their qualifying campaign is anything to go by, Morocco could just surprise a few people in Russia and their Iberian neighbours will need to be a bit wary. Morocco weren’t really expected to progress from a group which included Ivory Coast, Gabon and Mali and even less so when they could only draw their opening two games 0-0.
However gradually they added a bit more attacking flare to their clear defensive foundations. Morocco would go through the whole group without conceding a single goal and progressed to Russia thanks to an impressive 2-0 win away to group favourites Ivory Coast in their final game.
They will fancy they can lay down a bit of a marker against a Ukraine side that is coached by the legendary figure of Andriy Shevchenko but one that hasn’t really impressed on the pitch of late. They finished 3rd behind Croatia and Iceland in their qualifying group with a 2-0 home defeat to the Croats in their final match sealing their elimination.
They will be thinking ahead to Euro 2020 now and this squad does have a youthful feel to it with four uncapped players and a further two who have made just one appearance for the national team. Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka provide a bit of midfield quality but they look a little light in other areas, particularly at the back. Only one defender in this squad has won more than 10 caps and there could be some uncertainty for the North Africans to try and exploit.
Morocco’s players will all be desperate to make an impression with the big World Cup kick-off just around the corner now. They come into this one in great form with no defeats in their last 15 internationals and that includes friendly wins over Serbia and South Korea, two sides that will be in Russia. Those results should give them plenty of confidence heading into this and backing Morocco Draw No Bet could be the way to go against an unconvincing Ukraine side.
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Morocco will choose from their 23-man World Cup squad. Ayoub El Kaabi has 10 goals in 8 caps so far and will offer the attacking threat with Juve defender Medhi Benatia set to skipper the side.
Veteran midfielder Ruslan Rotan isn’t involved having reached 100 caps in March. 4 men have withdrawn including Shakhtar defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy.