Morocco have won the Africa Cup of Nations on one occasion, although that was in 1976 during a purple patch of their history. Since then, the Atlas Lions managed a couple of fourth placed finishes in 1986 and 1988 respectively, while they were runners-up in 2004 although they will now aim to go one better for the 2021 renewal.

Vahid Halilhodžić’s side have a tough opener when they clash with a Ghana side who have previously been among the AFCON favourites in other tournaments, although the Black Stars don’t have as many stars operating for them right now. That explains why they are regarded as the outsiders to win this particular group opener.

Are Morocco Worth Backing for AFCON Opener?

Morocco have a decent squad of players and will be led into battle by Roman Saiss who has flourished under Bruno Lage at Wolves this season. The central defender is not only a great stopper but he can also take a mean free-kick and he will be flanked by Achraf Hakimi who is now on the books at Paris Saint-Germain and can offer plenty of attacking verve from a full-back position.

Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri has scored the most goals out of all the forwards in the squad, although none have been particularly prolific for their country, with Sevilla team-mate Munir El Haddadi also in contention for a starting berth. This is a team who don’t lose too many matches and they have breezed through the second round of World Cup qualification.

Can Ghana Get a Positive Result in First Group Clash?

Ghana are expected to reach the next phase of the competition irrespective of how this match goes, although Milovan Rajevac would dearly love to get a positive result from this encounter before other group clashes against Gabon and Comoros.

Ghana previously clashed with Morocco in a friendly back in June where the latter triumphed by a 1-0 scoreline although that was played in Rabat and it was a fairly even tussle, with Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew expected to line up for their country. The brothers have a decent international pedigree and they’ll have Thomas Partey lining up in midfield behind them.

Partey has been outstanding for Arsenal and will be badly missed by the Gunners, with Daniel Amartey leaving Leicester to take his place in a defensive position. However, there are question marks over the goalkeeper position and it could be that they adopt a pragmatic approach in this clash.

What Are the Best Bets for Morocco v Ghana?

As mentioned, both teams will be relatively happy with a draw before going on to play a more favourable opponent and it’s noticeable that you can get around 2/1 about this clash ending all square. However, both sides will look to get the opening goal and see out the match and we wouldn’t put anyone off Morocco edging this encounter by a 1-0 scoreline.

Under 2.5 Goals is trading on the short side and this reveals that the bookies are anticipating the net to bulge too many times. The opening group games of AFCON are often cagey and it might even be worth pushing the envelope and taking a punt on Under 1.5 Goals which means we have the goalless draw covered along with a 1-0 win to either side.


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