Morocco head coach Herve Renard has handed Youssef En Nesyri a World Cup lifeline after dropping Badr Benoun from his 23-man squad.
Initially named on the reserve list, 21-year-old En Nesyri was confirmed as replacing Raja Casablanca defender Benoun in the final roster announced on Monday.
It was the only change made by Renard as he prepares Morocco for their fifth World Cup appearance and first since 1998.
The former Lille boss sprung a surprise with his initial selection by omitting Southampton’s Sofiane Boufal, although he does have plenty of class in the shape of Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyech and Mehdi Benatia.
Amiens full-back Oualid El Hajjam will remain with the squad in a training capacity.
Morocco, who are bidding to host the 2026 World Cup, have only advanced beyond the group stage one occasion, reaching the last 16 in 1986.
They face a tough task to repeat the feat in Russia with Iran, Portugal and Spain their opponents in a difficult Group B.
Morocco’s final 23-man World Cup squad:
Yassine Bounou (Girona), Mounir El Kajoui (Numancia), Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Ittihad Tanger); Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Manuel Da Costa (Istanbul Basaksehir), Nabil Dirar (Fenerbahce), Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid), Hamza Mendyl (Lille), Romain Saiss (Wolves); Sofyan Amrabat (Feyenoord), Youssef Ait Bennasser (Caen), Younes Belhanda (Galatasaray), Mbark Boussoufa (Al Jazira), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord), Faycal Fajr (Getafe), Amine Harit (Schalke); Nordin Amrabat (Leganes), Aziz Bouhaddouz (Saint Pauli), Khalid Boutaib (Malatyaspor), Mehdi Carcela (Standard Liege), Ayoub El Kaabi (Renaissance Berkane), Youssef En Nesyri (Malaga), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax).
— Maroc (@EnMaroc) June 4, 2018
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