Zambia coach Avram Grant says his team holds no fear of Morocco ahead of their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Group F match at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San-Pedro on the evening of Wednesday 24 January 2024. Kick-off is at 22h00 CAT.
Zambia followed their Afcon opening 1-1 draw against DR Congo with another 1-1 stalemate against Tanzania, as Patson Daka struck a late equaliser. Prior to that, Chipolopolo had recorded a 1-1 draw with Cameroon in a pre-tournament friendly. Zambia are third on the group standings on two points and will need a positive result to advance into the knockout rounds.
Morocco followed their Afcon opening 3-0 win over Tanzania with a 1-1 draw against DR Congo – they allowed an early lead, established by Achraf Hakimi, to slip through their hands. Prior to that, the Atlas Lions had beaten Sierra Leone 3-1 in a pre-tournament friendly.
Zambia will be without defender Roderick Kabwe due to suspension, while Kelvin Kapumbu could lose his starting spot after an indifferent showing against Tanzania. Morocco have no reported injury issues but could shuffle up their line-up with the likes of Ayoub El Kaabi or Azzedine Ounahi.
What was said
“We already know that Morocco is a big team but we are not afraid of them. We will play them and I hope we will put up a good performance. We will have to show character,” said Zambia coach Avram Grant.
“The first thing we need to do is forget about the first matches we had. It is a very difficult tournament both physically and mentally, and each match has its own reality,” said Morocco coach Walid Regragui.
Players to watch
Zambia: Patson Daka scored the key goal against Tanzania and will be itching to prove himself against a true heavyweight of the continent in Morocco.
Morocco: Youssef En-Nesyri endured a frustrating match against DR Congo and will want to make amends by finding the back of the net against Zambia.
In head-to-head stats, Zambia and Morocco have met in 18 matches. The Atlas Lions have claimed 10 wins compared to six for Chipolopolo, while two games have been drawn. The teams’ most recent clash was in the quarterfinals of the 2021 African Nations Championship (Chan), with Morocco winning 3-1.