Morocco boss Walid Regragui warned his team are “ready to die for it” as they look to secure a last-16 spot at the World Cup and send a Group F heavyweight home.
Morocco face Canada at the Al Thumama Stadium on Thursday with their hopes of reaching the 2022 World Cup knockout stages well and truly alive. The final matchday remains extremely tight and barring Canada, all three teams have the possibility to qualify, albeit at the expense of one another.
The Atlas Lions are on the brink of the second round after holding Croatia to a goalless draw and topping that result with a 2-0 victory against Belgium. They have recorded successive clean sheets in a World Cup for the first time since 1986, the only past finals where they went past the group stage.
Their third game in Qatar comes on Thursday against Canada, who cannot go any further after failing to pick up a point so far. Morocco may be able to qualify for the knockout phase even if they lose, such is their strong position.
Belgium, ranked second in the world, sit third in the group on three points, behind Morocco and Croatia who each have four. Croatia, the 2018 World Cup runners-up, will tackle Belgium at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, while Morocco and Canada do battle at the Al Thumama Stadium.
ow to watch Canada vs Morocco on TV & live stream online
In the United States (U.S.), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (start with a free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
Viewers in the U.S. can also watch the game on Fox Sports (English) and Telemundo (Spanish).
BBC Two is showing the clash in the United Kingdom (UK), with streaming via BBC iPlayer.
In India, the Sports18 network has the rights to show World Cup games on TV, with streaming services on JioCinema.
Regragui said his team “haven’t done anything yet” and he emerged with a host of injury worries after the Belgium game, with star defenders Achraf Hakimi and Romain Saiss among his concerns.
However, the coach has no doubt over the collective will of his group.
Canada squad & team news
Canada have an entirely fit squad ahead of this fixture. With nothing at stake, coach John Herdman might decide to field some fringe players.
Ismael Kone might be handed a start, while Junior Hoillet could be reinstated to the starting XI in place of Cyle Larin.
Canada possible XI: Clair; Johnston, Steven Vitoria, Miller, Adekugbe; Buchanan, Kone, Eustaquio, Hoilett; Davies, David
Morocco squad and team news
Yassine Bounou could not take the field against Belgium after feeling unwell. He is expected to make a comeback. Other than that, Walid Regraui is unlikely to make any changes to the team that won against Belgium.
Morocco possible XI: Bounou; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Amrabat, Ounahi, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Eden Hazard’s Belgium are in third place, with 3 points, while Canada are already eliminated from the tournament, as they have yet to pick up a single point.
Thus, the fixture between Canada and Morocco will be crucial for the Moroccans, whereas one of the two big European heavyweights in Belgium or Croatia may bow out of the tournament in the group stage itself.
As all four teams of Group F await their fate, all eyes will be on the battle between Real Madrid teammates Luka Modric and Eden Hazard who will be in opposition ranks on Thursday.