Expectations high in Morocco

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The Atlas Lions qualifying campaign for this year's Nations Cup was more like a walk in the park, as they faced no problems dominating a three-team group including Malawi and Zimbabwe.

It was Mohamed Fakhir who led the team in the qualifiers, despite a dismal 2006 campaign in Egypt, when they, like Bafana Bafana, got dumped out of the first round without even scoring a single goal.

However, the Royal Moroccan Federation’s decision to replace the local coach with veteran Frenchman Henri Michel means that expectations are high this year.

Michel's men gave in an impressive performance against France in a CAN 2008 warm-up game, earning applaud from their high-profile opposition and showing signs of a strong candidate for Africa's top award.

“They play world class football,” said France coach Raymond Domenech.

“Their players are talented, clever and strong. The way Morocco played against us is quite impressive and proves how good African football is nowadays.”

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