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Wydad win a boost for Moroccan football

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Da Costa signs for Istanbul Basaksehir

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Spain's Lopetegui: Group B draw will demand the best of us

Sid Lowe explains why Spain are content with drawing Portugal in Group B and evaluates their chances of winning the World Cup.
The ESPN FC panel break down Group B where they feel Portugal and Spain are favourites over Morocco and Iran.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has a lot of admiration for the three countries his team will face in the group stages of the World Cup.

The 2010 World Cup winners, Spain have been placed in Group B with European defending champions Portugal, Morocco and Iran in Friday's draw in Moscow.

Spain qualified for next year's tournament after finishing top of their group, five points clear of Italy. Lopetegui's side won nine of their 10 games and went unbeaten in qualifying.

"Without a doubt, we have a hard,...

Ranking the prospects of Africa's contenders after World Cup draw

Africa's five sides learned their fates in Friday's group-stage draw, but what are the quintet's chances of reaching the World Cup knockout stages now that we know their opening opponents?

Here's how we rank the continent's representatives in light of Friday's draw.

5. Tunisia: The Eagles of Carthage appear to be the continent's weakest representatives in Russia next summer, and their slim hopes of reaching the knockouts weren't helped by a tricky opening group.

Had they found themselves in Egypt...

Do Africa's five representatives have World Cup pedigree?

Ahead of Friday's draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow, KweséESPN examine the World Cup pedigrees of Africa's five representatives for next summer's showpiece.

None of Africa's five qualifiers are new to the top table, but some have been waiting longer than most for their return to the tournament, while others can point to a more illustrious World Cup track record than their continental rivals.

Nigeria: The Super Eagles have made five previous World Cups, qualifying for every tournament...

Which African team will go furthest at the World Cup?

For perhaps the first time, Africa will send a five-team contingent to the World Cup confident that all of the quintet will be able to hold their own, and each are in with a good chance of advancing past the group stage.

This hasn't always been the case, as historically, the continent has sent representatives who simply lack the quality to compete at the global showpiece - see Togo or Angola - or who have been too racked by internal turmoil to focus on the task at hand - see Ghana or Cameroon.

Even...

Spain international Munir El Haddadi hopes FIFA allows Morocco switch

Munir El Haddadi, currently on loan at Alaves, made one appearance for Spain in 2014.

Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi is hopeful that FIFA will grant him clearance to represent Morocco at the 2018 World Cup.

Munir, 22, played for Spain at youth level and made a sole appearance with La Roja in September 2014 but the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) has invited him to switch allegiances to the nation of his father's birth.

"The Moroccan Football Federation contacted me and told me I had options to play for them," Munir, whose father is Moroccan, told Onda Cero radio.

"I...