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Medhi Benatia called up for Morocco's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

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The centerback is called up for two important games.

Steve Haag/Getty Images

Medhi Benatia has found himself named to Harve Renard's initial list of 34 players for Morocco's two upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cape Verde. The big Bayern Munich centerback retains the captain's armband for his nation.

Morocco are currently second in their ACN qualification group behind Cape Verde on goal different but tied on points. With the first place finisher getting an automatic spot in next January's competition, these two games take on major importance.

The opportunity to get back to the Africa Cup of Nations is important for the Moroccan players after their government pulled out of hosting the 2015 tournament due to the Ebola virus scare, and CAF subsequently kicked them out of the tournament.

The first match will be in Praia, Cape Verde on March 26. The second game between the two team will head back to the Moroccan city of Agadir on March 29.

Full Morocco Squad

Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou (Real Zaragoza), Abdelali Mhamdi (Nahdat Berkane), Munir Mohand Mohamedi (Numancia)

Defenders: Medhi Benatia (Bayern Munich), Issam Chebake (Le Havre), Manuel da Costa (Olympiacos), Abdelhamid El Kaoutari (Stade Reims), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Achraf Lazaar (Palermo), Hamza Mendyl (Lille), Mohamed Oulhaj (Raja Casablanca)

Midfielders: Youssef Ait Bennasser (Nancy), Nordin Amrabat (Watford), Badi Aouk (Hassania Agadir), Abdlaziz Barrada (Marseille), Younes Belhanda (Schalke), Mbark Boussoufa (Gent), Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez (Benfica), Nabil Dirar (Monaco), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Faycal Fajr (Deportivo La Coruna), Omar El Kaddouri (Napoli), Walid El Karti (Wydad Casablanca), Mounir Obbadi (Lille), Romain Saiss (Angers), Oussama Tannane (Saint-Etienne), Hakim Ziyech (Twente)

Forwards: Yacine Bammou (Nantes), Mourad Batna (Fath Union Sport), Khalid Boutaib (Gazelec Ajaccio), Youssef El-Arabi (Granada), Abderrazak Hamdallah (El Jaish), Abdelghani Mouaoui (Ittihad Tanger), Youssef Naciri (Malaga)