Chamakh, Taarabt to lead Morocco against Algeria

Karim Farouk, Monday 23 May 2011

Morocco have named the final 23-man squad that will take on Algeria in a crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday 4 June in Marrakech

Morocco
Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh

Morocco coach Eric Gerets has called up a full strength squad, including Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh and Queens Park Rangers star Adel Taarabt to down Algeria and move to the top of the Cup of Nations' Group D.

Nancy forward Youssef Hadji and defender Badr El-Kadouri are back on the squad after missing the team’s 1-0 defeat to Algeria in Annaba last May because of injury.

Montpellier French-born midfielder Abdelhamid El-Kaoutari has also been included in the squad for the first time of his career after been cleared by FIFA to represent Morocco, his country of origin.

Uncapped defenders Mohamed Oulhaj and Ayoub El-Khaliqi who play in the domestic competition will make their debut for the Atlas Lions replacing injured Mehdi Carcela and Ahmed Kantari.

Gerets is betting on his striking force with the likes of Chamakh, in-form Taarabt, El-Hamdoui and Boussoufa to claim the full points of the game in this decider round.

After three games, Central Africa Republic, Tanzania, Morocco and Algeria are all level, each on four points.

Morocco squad:

Goalkeepers:

Ahmed Mohamedina (Olympique club de Khouribga/Morocco), Issam Badda (Fath Union Sport/Morocco), Nadir Lamyaghri (Wydad Athletic Club/Morocco).

Defenders:
Mehdi Benatia (Udinese/Italy), Mustapha Lemrani (Moghreb de Fès/Morocco), Mohamed Oulhaj (Raja Club Athletic/Morocco), Ayoub El-Khaliqi (Wydad Athletic Club/Morocco), Michael Basser (Nancy/ France), Jamal Alioui (Wydad Athletic Club/Morocco), Badr El-Kaddouri (Dynamo Kiev/Ukraine), AbdelHamid El-Kaoutari (Montpellier/France).

Midfielders:
Adil Hermach (RC Lens/France), Mohamed Chihani (Moghreb de Fès/Morocco), Houcine Kharja (Inter Milan/Italy), Younes Belhanda (Montpellier/France), M’Bark Boussoufa (Anzhi /Russia)
Mohamed Berrabeh (Wydad Athletic Club/Morocco), Adel Taarabt (Queen's Park Rangers/England), Oussama Assaidi (Heerenveen/Netherlands).

Forwards:
Marouane Chamakh Marouane (Arsenal /England), Youssef El-Arabi (SM Caen/France)
Mounir El-Hamdaoui (Ajax Amsterdam/Netherlands).
Hadji Youssef (Nancy/France)

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