Taarabt and Chamakh in Morocco's Nations Cup squad

Arsenal and Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh
Marouane Chamakh has been included in Morocco's Africa Cup of Nations squad.

Queens Park Rangers' Adel Taarabt and Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh are both included in Morocco's 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Chamakh is included despite scoring just once this season for Arsenal in eight league appearances, seven of those as a substitute.

QPR manager Neil Warnock has said that Taarabt is just finding his form.

"He is getting fitter and fitter and it is just a shame he is going to be away at the Nations Cup," he said.

Atlas Lions coach Eric Gerets has also included 22-year-old midfielder Mehdi Carcela, who plays for Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.

Carcela was ruled ineligible to play for Morocco at the recent African Under-23 Championship, which doubled as the Olympic qualifying event, having previously represented Belgium at that level.

One surprise inclusion is central defender Ahmed Kantari, who has not played for his French club Brest since May with an Achilles injury and only just returned to training.

One player to miss out is Mounir El Hamdaoui who has fallen out of favour at Dutch club Ajax, with the former top-scorer in Holland only having played for the reserves so far this season.

Morocco kick off their Nations Cup Group C campaign against north African rivals Tunisia on 23 January before games against co-hosts Gabon and then newcomers Niger.

Morocco Squad:

Goalkeepers: Nadir Lamyaghri (Wydad Casablanca), Issam Badda (FUS Rabat), Mohamed Amsif (Augsburg, Germany)

Defenders: Jamal Allioui (Al Kharytiyath, Qatar), Michael Chretien (Bursaspor, Turkey), Badr El Kaddouri (Celtic, Scotland), Abdelhamid El Kaoutari (Montpellier,France), Mehdi Benatia (Udinese, Italy), Abdelfattah Boukhriss (FUS Rabat), Mustapha Mrani (MAS), Ahmed Kantari (Brest, France)

Midfielders: Houcine Kharja (Fiorentina, Italy), Adil Hermach (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Karim Ahmadi (Feyenoord, Netherlands), Younes Belhanda (Montpellier, France), Mbark Boussoufa (Anzhi Makhachkala, Russia), Youssouf Hadji (Rennes, France), Mehdi Carcela (Anzhi Makhachkala, Russia)

Forwards: Noureddine Amrabat (Kayserispor, Turkey), Oussama Assaidi (Heerenveen, Netherlands), Youssef El Arabi (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Adel Taarabt (Queens Park Rangers, England), Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal, England)

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