Morocco and Cameroun will meet in a heavyweight 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying battle at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Friday.
Morocco come into the match placed second on the Group B log with seven points, just one behind leaders Cameroun. Third-placed Malawi are three points behind the Atlas Lions, while Comoros lie at the foot of the table with two points.
The North African heavyweights were last in action in October, claiming four points from their back-to-back matches against Comoros. The Atlas Lions won 1-0 at home before drawing the return leg 2-2.
Cameroun recorded similar results last month in their double-header with Malawi. The Indomitable Lions won 1-0 at home and drew 0-0 in the away match.
While Cameroun’s place in the 2019 finals is already assured as hosts, Morocco will be hoping to secure their 17th AFCON tournament appearance. The Atlas Lions will book their ticket if they defeat Cameroun and Malawi fail to win away to Comoros in the first match on Saturday in Moroni.
Morocco coach Herve Renard continues to scour for new talent and has called Dutch-born AZ Alkmaar attacker Oussama Idrissi for the match (though it remains to be seen whether the player will switch his international allegiance), adding to an already talented squad which features stars such as Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri and Sofiane Boufal.
Cameroun coach Clarence Seedorf will hope for a win in Casablanca to convince his critics, and he has named a strong squad which includes a recall for Arnaud Djoum, though key figures such as Nicolas N’Koulou and Vincent Aboubakar are notable absentees.
In head-to-head stats, Morocco and Cameroun have met in 11 previous matches according to FIFA’s statistics database. The Indomitable Lions boast an unbeaten record in the rivalry (six wins and five draws) and beat the Atlas Lions 1-0 in Yaounde when the teams met in the first round of group stage qualifiers back in June 2017.