Africa’s representative have Morocco and Senegal have released their provisional squads ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup that gets underway in Russia next month.
Morocco coach Herve Renard announced a provisional list of 23 players and three reserves that will make up the North African team, who return to the World Cup for the first time since 1998.
The team will begin their preparation in Rabat on 24 May before taking part in three warm-up matches, prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
Renard’s Atlas Lions will play Ukraine on 31 May and Slovakia on 4 June (both games in Geneva, Switzerland) before taking on Estonia in Tallinn on 9 June.
Morocco is in group B alongside Iran, Spain and Portugal.
Morocco provisional squad
Goalkeepers: Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia, Spain), Yassine Bounou (Girona, Spain), Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger);
Defenders: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus, Italy), Romain Saiss (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Manuel Da Costa (Basaksehir, Turkey), Badr Benoun (Raja Casablanca), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid, Spain), Hamza Mendyl (Lille, France);
Midfielders: M’bark Boussoufa (Al Jazira, UAE), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord, Netherlands), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen, France), Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord, Netherlands), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray, Turkey), Faycal Fajr (Getafe, Spain), Amine Harit (Schalke, Germany);
Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor, Turkey), Aziz Bouhaddouz (St. Pauli, Germany), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Nordin Amrabat (Leganes, Spain), Mehdi Carcela (Standard de Liege, Belgium), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax, Netherlands).
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse also announced his provisional squad on Thursday, with Liverpool star Sadio Mane and Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly headlining the Lions of Teranga list.
The West Africans are returning to the World Cup for the first time since 2002, when they made it to the quarter-finals.
Cisse’s team will prepare for the World Cup with two friendlies. They first face Luxembourg on 31 May before playing a warm-up game against fellow World Cup-bound side Croatia on 8 June in Zagreb.
Senegal is in group H alongside Poland, Colombia and Japan.
Senegal provisional squad
Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes, France), Alfred Gomis (SPAL, Italy), Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya, Guinea);
Defenders: Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Kara Mbodii (Anderlecht, Belgium), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Salif Sane (Hannover, Germany), Moussa Wague (Eupen, Belgium);
Midfielders: Idrissa Gueye (Everton, England), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United, England), Alfred Ndiaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City, England), Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City, England), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes, France);
Forwards: Keita Balde (Monaco, France), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City, England), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England), Mbaye Niang (Torino, Italy), Diafra Sakho (Rennes, France), Moussa Sow (Bursaspor, Turkey).