Malawi will be looking to cause an upset against Morocco when the two sides square off in the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 clash at the Stade Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé on Tuesday evening.
The Atlas Lions progressed to the knockout stages of the tournament by finishing as Group C winners with seven points after they edged Ghana 1-0 in their opening game followed by claiming back-to-back wins by defeating Comoros 2-0 before playing out to a thrilling 2-2 draw against Gabon in their final group match.
The Flames advanced to this stage of the competition after they finish third in Group B with four points following their 1-0 defeat to Guinea in the first game before claiming their first victory with a 2-1 win over Zimbabwe followed by ending the group with a goalless draw against Senegal.
Morocco have scored in all three group stages games and have netted a total of five goals and only conceded two. They have had four different goal scorers, including Selim Amallah, Achraf Hakimi, Zakaria Aboukhlal and Sofiane Boufal, who is their current top scorer with two goals to his name.
Malawi has had a mixed run of form in front of goal and have only managed to find the back of the net on two occasions, while letting in the same amount of goals, with Gabadinho Mhango scoring both goals in their win over Zimbabwe.
SCO Angers winger Sofiane Boufal has been Morocco’s best player thus far and has contributed to the majority of their goals in the tournament, having scored in their opening game against Ghana as well as their final group game against Gabon.
Orlando Pirates striker Gabadinho Mhango has been Malwai’s standout performer as he has been their only contributor in terms of goal following his brace during their 2-1 victory over Zimbabwe.
Vahid Halilhodzic will be boosted by the fact that he has a fully fit squad for the encounter with the exclusion of Ferencváros forward Ryan Mmaee, who missed their first three games after picking up a knock, while Mario Marinica only has two players sidelined for the clash, including Ernest Kakhobwe and Limbikani Mzava, who both missed their final group stage game through injury.
Possible Starting Lineups:
Morocco: Munir, Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saïss, Nayef Aguerd, Adam Masina, Sofyan Amrabat, Azzedine Ounahi, Sofiane Boufal, Fayçal Fajr, Youssef En-Nesyri, Ayoub El Kaabi.
Malawi: Charles Thomu, Stanley Sanudi, Lawrence Chaziya, Dennis Chembezi, Gomezgani Chirwa, Chimwemwe Idana, John Banda, Francisco Madinga, Micium Mhone, Khuda Muyaba, Gabadinho Mhango.