Africa’s highest-ranked team get their AFCON 2023 campaign started on Wednesday. Look ahead to the game with our Morocco vs Tanzania prediction and preview.

Morocco vs Tanzania: Pre-Match Facts

  • The Opta supercomputer is backing Morocco as firm favourites for this encounter, with the Atlas Lions victorious in 62.9% of its 10,000 pre-match simulations.
  • Morocco are making their 19th appearance at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. Their only title dates back to 1976 in Ethiopia.
  • Morocco last reached the final four of the Africa Cup of Nations 20 years ago, when they were beaten finalists against hosts Tunisia. However, the last time Morocco reached the semi-finals of the tournament outside of North Africa was back in 1980, when it was held in Nigeria.
  • Morocco have won seven of their last eight group matches at the Africa Cup of Nations (D1).
  • Morocco have scored in each of their last nine matches at the AFCON, the second-longest active streak coming into this tournament after Burkina Faso (14).
  • This is Tanzania’s third appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations after 1980 and 2019. They finished bottom of their group on both occasions, losing five of their six matches (D1).
  • Tanzania haven’t kept a clean sheet in their six matches at the AFCON. Only Zimbabwe (15), Mozambique (12) and Namibia (9) have played more matches in the competition without a clean sheet.
  • Among the 24 teams that will feature in Ivory Coast, Tanzania scored the fewest goals during the qualifiers (three in six games). Two of their three goals were scored by Simon Msuva.
  • Morocco striker Youssef En-Nesyri has scored in each of the last three Africa Cup of Nations. No Moroccan player has ever scored in four different editions of the tournament.
  • Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi created nine chances for his teammates in qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (one assist). The all-action full-back also completed more dribbles (six), played more passes into the box (25) and won back possession (22) more often than any other Moroccan player.

Match Preview

Expectations for Morocco have arguably never been higher. After a remarkable run at Qatar 2022 saw them become the first African country in history to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup, they go into the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations as the continent’s highest-ranked (13) side in the FIFA rankings. Exactly 13 months on from losing 2-1 to Croatia in the World Cup third-place play-off, the Atlas Lions get their AFCON Group F campaign started against Tanzania.

Given what Morocco achieved in Qatar and the fact they’ve broken into the top 15 teams in the world, this should – in theory – be a mismatch, with Tanzania making only their third appearance at the AFCON.

African teams FIFA rankings pre-AFCON

But if the first few days of AFCON 2023 have told us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected, with Nigeria, Egypt and Ghana all falling to shock results, with the latter even suffering a late defeat to Cape Verde.

There’s undoubtedly been an aura of confidence enveloping Morocco since the World Cup, however, and the talent they possess is considerable with the likes of Achraf Hakimi, Youssef En-Nesyri, Hakim Ziyech, Sofyan Amrabat and Bilal El Khannouss, who is one of our lesser-known players to watch.

Their route through qualifying was fairly straightforward as well. They won qualification Group K ahead of South Africa and Liberia, as well as Zimbabwe, who were disqualified due to FIFA suspending them for political interference.

Walid Regragui’s men finished with nine points from their four matches, their only loss coming against South Africa, who also made it to AFCON 2023. Of the 23 nations that reached the tournament (Ivory Coast automatically qualified as hosts), no team had their qualification confirmed earlier than Morocco (24 March 2023).

This will be their 19th participation in the AFCON, though their record is unspectacular. They’ve only won it once, in 1976, and reached the final on just one other occasion, losing the 2004 showpiece to Tunisia. Two years ago, in the 2021 edition, Morocco reached the quarter-finals but lost to eventual finalists Egypt 2-1 after extra time.

Tanzania, on the other hand, are very inexperienced at this level. They’ve participated at AFCON only twice prior to 2023 and never progressed beyond the group stage, only earning a single point over their two tournament runs.  

They qualified for AFCON 2023 as runners-up to Algeria in Group F ahead of Uganda and Niger. They got eight points from their six games, the lowest tally of any qualifying team that played all six matches, as well has having the joint-lowest goal difference (-1). They confirmed their qualification with a draw against Algeria on 7 September, being the only team to take points off the Fennec Foxes in qualifying.

Morocco vs Tanzania Head-to-Head

This will be the first encounter between Morocco and Tanzania at the Africa Cup of Nations. They faced each other last November in World Cup qualifying – Morocco won 2-0 in Dar-es-Salaam.

Morocco vs Tanzania Prediction

Morocco vs Tanzania Opta supercomputer prediction AFCON 2023

Morocco are heavy favourites for this match, with the Opta supercomputer predicting a win in favour of the Atlas Lions. They won 62.9% of the pre-match simulations, compared to Tanzania’s win probability of just 18.0%. The draw is rated at 19.1%.

In the week leading up to AFCON 2023, our pre-tournament predictions had Morocco as third favourites to lift the trophy, going all the way in 11.1% of the 10,000 simulations. Only defending champions Senegal (12.8%) and hosts Ivory Coast (12.1%) were deemed likelier to take the title than Morocco.

On the flip side, Tanzania are considered one of the weakest sides at the tournament. Their 0.6% win probability before the tournament started was only better than Angola and Namibia, both on 0.5%.

Below are the current, up-to-date chances of progression through AFCON 2023 for both sides according to the Opta supercomputer:

Morocco vs Tanzania Squads

Morocco: Munir Mohamedi, Yassine Bounou, Mehdi Benabid, Nayef Aguerd, Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saïss, Chadi Riad, Yahya Attiat-Allah, Abdel Abqar, Yunis Abdelhamid, Noussair Mazraoui, Mohamed Chibi, Sofyan Amrabat, Hakim Ziyech, Amir Richardson, Selim Amallah, Oussama El Azzouzi, Amine Harit, Azzedine Ounahi, Bilal El Khannouss, Sofiane Boufal, Youssef En-Nesyri, Abde Ezzalzouli, Ismael Saibari, Tarik Tissoudali, Amine Adli, Ayoub El Kaabi.

Coach: Walid Regragui

Tanzania: Beno Kakolanya, Aishi Manula, Kwesi Kawawa, Dickson Job, Abdi Banda, Ibrahim Hamad, Abdulmalik Zakaria, Mohamed Hussein, Bakari Mwamnyeto, Miano van den Bos, Lusajo Mwaikenda, Haji Mnoga, Mudathir Yahya, Feisal Salum, Charles M’Mombwa, Novatus Miroshi, Sospeter Bajana, Himid Mao, Mohammed Sagaf, Mzamiru Yassin, Morice Abraham, Kibu Denis, Tarryn Allarakhia, Cyprian Kachwele, Mbwana Samatta, Simon Msuva, Ben Starkie.

Coach: Adel Amrouche

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