Morocco World Cup preview: Atlas Lionesses prepare for maiden voyage down under

The Morocco Women's National team line up and pose for a photo
Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

Morocco head into their first ever World Cup this summer as the 72nd ranked team by FIFA. This will not be the case for long though, as the Atlas Lionesses have moved from strength to strength ahead of the tournament.

Morocco made it to the final of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2022, before tying both Italy and Switzerland earlier this month.

Some names listed in the tournament squad may be familiar to avid viewers of the top European leagues. Rosella Ayane is a striker for Tottenham Hotspur, who grew up playing in the England International youth setup. Yasmin Mrabet is a Madrileña who currently plays for Levante Las Planas in Liga F.

A significant number of squad members play for AS FAR, the number one team in Morocco’s domestic league. Out of these players, Ghizlane Chebbak and Fatima Tagnaout are standouts. Chebbak is the creator in midfield. Her passing range and line breaking movements make her a lethal tool in Morocco’s build-up play.

Although Tagnaout is unlikely to receive the same number of minutes as players like Chebbak, she is technically excellent. Her dribbling and pace allow her to play as both a forward winger and fullback.

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In their warmup matches, Morocco opted for a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. With their overload in wide, attacking areas, they played a flexible attack. Forwards cut centrally to combine with their attacking midfield to find space in front of the opposition box or behind opposition outside backs.

Defensively, Morocco are exposed in central areas. With only two in midfield and limited compensation from other positions, the Atlas Lionesses are outnumbered in midfield. This could prove to be a massive weakness against Germany or South Korea who are each reliant on midfield overloads.

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