2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia face Morocco as they kick off their campaign at the Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday morning.
In a challenging group, Morocco will be hoping to replicate their 1986 World Cup team’s performance which topped a group also consisting of Portugal and England. The Atlas Lions haven’t been able to match that in recent International cup competitions and most recently disappointingly bowed out of the AFCON earlier this year in the quarter-finals via defeat to Egypt, despite boasting a strong squad.
Croatia’s 2018 heroics, meanwhile, reaching the final in Russia, will forever be embedded in the hearts of their football fans as captain Luka Modric and his team go again on the big stage. They are unbeaten on the international stage since losing to Spain in Euro 2020 and will look to continue that as far as they can in Qatar.
Results in the last five matches in all competitions:
Morocco: W D W W W
Croatia: W W W W W
For Morocco, Burnley’s Anass Zaroury has replaced star midfielder Amine Harit who injured himself in Marseille’s last league match before the World Cup. Barcelona’s Ez Abde has picked up a knock ahead of the fixture and his presence in the game is uncertain. For Croatia, there are currently no injury concerns for Zlatko Dalic’s men as they go into their World Cup opener.
Morocco (4-3-3): Bounou; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Amallah, Amrabat, Ounahi; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Croatia(4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Sutalo, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic
GWFN | Trambak Bhattacherjee