Morocco – Malawi Predictions
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Morocco 2-1 Malawi
Date: 25.01.2022 | Match at: 20:00 | League: AFRICA: Africa Cup of Nations – Play Offs – 1/8-finals | Tip: Home Win | Odds: 1.36 | Bookie: Unibet.
Morocco – Malawi Match Preview
- With 101 places separating these sides in FIFA’s rankings, this is a true battle of David and Goliath. In the latter role are Morocco, and though the ‘Atlas Lions’ were eliminated on penalties by a lower-ranked opponent in 2019, this should be a straightforward route to only a second Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-finals appearance since finishing as runners up in 2004.
- The sight of Morocco conceding early and trailing at the break, in a draw against lower-ranked Gabon last time out, provides some reason for them not to underestimate this assignment. Vahid Halilhodžić’s men are known for striking late though, with four of Morocco’s last five AFCON finals victories seeing them score beyond the 80th minute and land a clean sheet.
- After getting through the group stage as one of the best ranked third-placed sides, Malawi will enjoy their first-ever knockout stage appearance, after two prior group-stage failures in 1984 and 2010. Their finest result yet came in this edition’s last group stage matchday, as the ‘Flames’ managed a clean sheet against the competition’s highest-ranked nation (Senegal), for only their second-ever AFCON finals shutout.
- Malawi have gained some neutral admirers, but their current two-game unbeaten run was preceded by five straight competitive losses. Only two of those saw Malawi fail to score or cover a +2 handicap, though both defeats in question saw them concede twice beyond the 80th minute.
- Players to watch: Achraf Hakimi netted Morocco’s late equaliser (84’) against Gabon, putting him on five competitive international goals, the remainder of which have come in wins by a 3+ goal margin. Meanwhile, all hopes of a Malawi shock could depend on Gabadinho Mhango, with the Orlando Pirates forward scoring both goals in the matchday two win over Zimbabwe.
- Hot stat: Six of Morocco’s last eight AFCON finals victories have ended 1-0.