Morocco XI to play Spain in World Cup Round of 16: Hakimi & Ziyech in, Amallah replaces Sabiri

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The Atlas Lions hope to cause an upset as they play Luis Enrique’s men and make it to the last eight for the first time in their history

Morocco coach Walid Regragui has named his starting XI to play Spain on Tuesday in a World Cup Round of 16 match to be staged at the Education City Stadium.

The Atlas Lions finished top of Group F with seven points - after wins over Belgium and Canada, with their game against Croatia ending in a draw. Spain lost to eventual Group E winners Japan 2-1 to finish second as Germany and Costa Rica crashed out.

With the quarter-final stage in sight, Regragui has not made major changes to his side considering the fact that his team has shown good chemistry in the group stage.

Selim Amallah has been restored to the starting team after being on the bench in the team's last group match against Canada.

Here is how the North African side line-up:

  1. Goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou
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    Goalkeeper: Yassine Bounou

    Bono, as he is popularly known, has pulled off a number of key saves especially against Croatia and Canada, playing a key role to the Atlas Lions' good defensive record that has seen them concede just one goal.

  2. Right-back: Achraf Hakimi

    Right-back: Achraf Hakimi

    Hakimi has played all the matches. The PSG player acts as another attacking outlet due to his tendency to make forward runs and bring in crosses, something Regragui will be looking for again.

  3. Centre-back: Romain Saiss
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    Centre-back: Romain Saiss

    The captain and leader of the Atlas Lions, the Besiktas man has been immense in defence for the North Africans and he will need to bring out his 'A' game again.

  4. Centre-back: Nayef Aguerd

    Centre-back: Nayef Aguerd

    Scorer of an unfortunate own goal against Canada, the West Ham defender has partnered well with Saiss and it is the reason he has been assured a place again against the 2010 world champions.

  5. Left-back: Noussair Mazraoui
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    Left-back: Noussair Mazraoui

    The Bayern Munich full-back completes the defensive setup for Morocco who will benefit from a settled back four that has come up trumps when tested so far.

  6. Central midfield: Sofyan Amrabat
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    Central midfield: Sofyan Amrabat

    The man who dictates the tempo of the game, having played a starring role for Morocco in the group stage.

    Amrabat is a good passer of the ball and great at slotting in at centre-back to provide cover whenever one of the defenders vacates his position.

  7. Central midfield: Azzedine Ounahi
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    Central midfield: Azzedine Ounahi

    Ounahi has started all matches, playing alongside Amrabat and offers extra defensive cover for Morocco, making it difficult to break them down.

  8. Attacking midfield: Selim Amallah

    Attacking midfield: Selim Amallah

    Dropped to the bench against Canada having started against Croatia and Belgium, the Standard Liege midfielder has been recalled against Spain.

    Amallah is good at winning tackles in midfield and also offers calmness especially when Morocco are on the back foot, something they will need a lot against the 2012 European champions.

  9. Right wing: Hakim Ziyech

    Right wing: Hakim Ziyech

    Morocco's go-to man at the tournament, Ziyech has provided plenty of attacking spark and he will be the Atlas Lion's danger man again.

  10. Striker: Youssef En-Nesyri

    Striker: Youssef En-Nesyri

    Having had a slow start, the Sevilla man came alive against Canada, scoring the second goal and would have had two more if not for the offside flag and poor finishing.

  11. Left wing: Sofiane Boufal
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    Left wing: Sofiane Boufal

    Boufal is good at dragging defenders out of position to create space for his teammates to attack and also likes to track back to help out defensively, something he will be required to offer against Spain.