Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Egypt vs Morocco Preview

Egypt vs Morocco Preview

Egypt

Egypt are locked in another heated matchup, and this time they face north African rivals, Morocco. Will Egypt repeat the result of the 2017 African Cup of Nations quarter-finals when they knocked out Morocco with an 87th-minute goal? Or will the Atlas Lions get their AFCON revenge in similar fashion to the African Nations Championship victory?

It’s all on the line in this epic clash!

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Africa Cup of Nations: Quarter-final
Sunday 30 January
Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium
17:00

To Win (90 minutes)
Egypt 26/10
Draw 15/10
Morocco 5/4

To Qualify
Egypt 5/4
Morocco 11/20

Egypt

Egypt were all but written off after a slow start into their AFCON campaign of which big things were expected. Coach Carlos Queiroz has remained confident in the Pharaoh’s ability and has found other outlets than relying solely on Mohamed Salah.

There has been a noted improvement by Egypt from their opening fixture to their round-of-16 fixture against Ivory Coast. The North African giants were humbled when they faced Nigeria in the opening matchday with a loss, and a lot to make up for.

So, all the pressure was on when they came up against Guinea-Bissau bouncing back with a victory courtesy of Mo Salah. With work still to be done, a victory over Sudan at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium saw them close out Group E with six points to finish as runners-up in their respective group.

Looking back at it, defeating a team like Algeria in a desperate group-stage position is different to coming up against the most successful nation on the continent of Africa when your everything is on the line. Egypt defeated Ivory Coast via penalties, but really deserved to put the game to bed earlier. A performance more befitting the Egyptians, structured, well-worked opportunities, and with good spells of possession the Pharoah’s are seemingly coming into their own.

Goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy will undergo further tests on his hamstring after coming off against Ivory Coast, including Al Ahly teammate Hamdi Fathi who was also forced off through injury against the Elephants.

As opposed to the obvious Salah, a key player that really performed against Ivory Coast and came extremely close to actually finding the back of the net, Wolfsburg forward Omar Marmoush was extremely lively and caused all sorts of problems for the opposition.

The Egyptians are finally coming into their own and proving why they are favourites to be crowned kings of Africa.

Morocco

After enjoying a near unblemished group-stage run, Morocco now take the field against their biggest challenge in pursuit of their first AFCON title in nearly half a century. With a star-studded line-up and proving to be a well-oiled machine, the Atlas Lions are actually favourites to progress over their North African opposition.

An unbeaten run in the qualifiers, an unbeaten run in the group stages and followed by a confident showing against Malawi, is there anyone that can stop Morocco?

Defeating Ghana was bound to be a major confidence boost going forward, when Sofiane Boufal struck the winner in the 83rd-minute. A more comfortable 2-0 victory over Comoros just four days later, however, they were held to a thrilling 2-2 draw by Gabon, and to their own dismay courtesy of an own goal.

The back four of Achraf Hakimi, Ligue 1 based Nayef Aguerd, Roman Saiss, and Adam Masina is formidable, but not the only good thing going for Morocco. Boufal is the go-to man, having scored two goals thus far, the role behind Youssef En-Nesyri and Ayoub El Kaabi is working so sweetly for coach Vahid Halilhodzic.

It is now a 46-year drought for Morocco in the AFCON, and it was almost quenched when they fell short to Tunisia in the 2004 edition. Now, the team looks strong, energized, with quality players and a good system going for them.

Prediction: Draw & Both Teams To Score (Yes) (39/10)

Two very evenly matched teams are rather likely to require separation by shootout on this occasion. There are key players that could prove vital in pivotal moments, and I feel the game will end a draw with both teams to score at 39/10.

Written by Joshua Gaillard