Ambroise Onyongo Bitolo of Cameroon and Yamikani Chester of Malawi during the 2019 Afcon qualifying football match between Cameroon and Malawi at the Hamadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon on 12 October 2018 ©Alain Suffo/BackpagePix
Wednesday Nov 14, 2018. 10:15
Africa Cup of Nations 2019 hosts Cameroon will have a test of their mettle when they take on Morocco in a qualifier at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Friday, 16 November 2018, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.
Morocco come into the match placed second on the Group B log with seven points, just one behind leaders Cameroon. 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.
Cameroon 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 Cameroon’s place in the 2019 finals is already assured (due to their status of hosts), Morocco will be hoping to secure their 17th AFCON tournament appearance. The Atlas Lions will book their ticket if they defeat Cameroon and Malawi fail to win away to Comoros in the first match on Saturday (which will be played 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.
Cameroon 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 Cameroon 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.