Morocco coach Herve Renard to face Ivory Coast in 2018 World Cup qualifiers

Morocco coach Herve Renard (right) will take on one of his old sides
Morocco coach Herve Renard (right) will take on one of his old sides

Morocco coach Herve Renard will face Ivory Coast, who he led to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations title, in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

The Frenchman's Atlas Lions side were placed in Group C in the draw, which was held in Cairo on Friday.

There are five groups of four teams with only the winners of each group making it to the tournament in Russia.

It is the final round of qualifying, which follows two previous knockout rounds, and will kick off in October.

Matches continue in November and there will be a further four rounds during 2017 between August and November.

Four big names were drawn together in Group B, with Cameroon, Nigeria and Algeria - who have all been at the past two World Cup finals - placed alongside 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winners Zambia.

Cameroon have appeared at the tournament seven times - more than any other African country - but have suffered in recent years and could struggle in what looks to the toughest of all the groups.

The Indomitable Lions' last two appearances at the World Cup were a disaster. They lost all three of their group games in South Africa in 2010 and in Brazil four years later.

Algeria, the highest ranked side on the continent, were among the top seeds for the draw, with Nigeria included in the second seeds.

Renard will come up against the side he helped to make African champions last year as he tries to steer his Morocco team past the Elephants, Gabon and Mali.

Meanwhile, neighbours Libya and Tunisia were paired in Group A. Libya's last international match - against Morocco in June - was hosted by Tunisia because of ongoing security issues in the north African country.

Group E could shape up to be a fight between heavyweights Ghana and Egypt.

The Black Stars have appeared at the last three finals but Egypt have not qualified since 1990.

African qualifying for the 2018 World Cup:

Group A

Tunisia, Libya, DR Congo, Guinea

Group B

Zambia, Cameroon, Algeria, Nigeria

Group C

Gabon, Mali, Ivory Coast, Morocco

Group D

Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde

Group E

Ghana, Egypt, Congo, Uganda

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