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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group C - Algeria

Nickname – Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes)

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Algeria topped both qualifying stages first ahead of Gambia and Senegal and next they got the 1st position at the expense of Egypt. As they drew levelled with Egypt, they had to go for an unprecedented playoff against the pharaohs which they ended up winning surprisingly 1-0 with a goal from Bochum defender Anthar Yahia booking the place for this World cup 2010.

H2H

Jun 13 Polokwane Algeria v Slovenia - Never Played. The last time Slovenia faced an African squad was Ivory Coast in 2006 and they lost 3-0. It’s holiday break for Algeria in this World Cup. Enjoying the resorts it is mostly what they can do. Last time they won against a European nation was in 1989 and it was against Malta, 0-1.

Jun 18 Cape Town England v Algeria - Never Played. England never lost a game against an African Nation.

Jun 23 Pretoria United States v Algeria - Never played. Last time USA played against an African side, they trashed Egypt 3-0 in the Confederations Cup, Egypt is the same team that recently won 4-0 against Algeria, and so you must imagine how the result will turn out to be.

Algeria is the weakest link from Group C and they haven’t won any of their last 5 matches cruising to losses such as 3-0 against Serbia, 4-0 against Egypt and only to have scored in one of those latest 5 matches. Since 2008 their run of results consists of 9 wins, 3 draws and 8 loses, scoring 21 and conceding 21. Wins only contemplate weaker sides than the Algerian one such as Liberia, Gambia, Rwanda and Zambia.

Goalkeepers: Lounes Gaouaoui (ASO Chlef), Faouzi Chaouchi (ES Setif), Raid Ouheb M'bolhi (Slavia Sofia)

Defenders: Abdelakder Laifaoui (ES Setif), Madjid Bougherra (Rangers), Carl Medjani (Ajaccio), Rafik Halliche (Madeira), Antar Yahia (Bochum), Habib Belaid (Boulogne Sur Mer), Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth), Djamel Mesbah (Lecce)

Midfielders: Hassan Yebda (Portsmouth), Medhi Lacen (Racing Santander), Yazid Mansouri (Lorient), Adlene Guidoura (Wolverhampton), Riad Boudebouz (Sochaux), Djamel Abdoun (Nantes), Foued Kadir (Valenciennes), Karim Ziani (Wolfsburg), Karim Matmour (Borussia Monchengladbach)

Strikers: Abdelkader Ghezzal (Siena), Rafik Djebbour (AEK Athens), Rafik Saifi (Istres),~

FORMATION

Rabah Saadane displays a 3-5-2 formation with counter attack strategy. Lounes Gaouaoui; Madjid Bougherra, Anthar Yahia, Nadir Belhadj, Halliche, Yazid Mansouri, Karim Ziani, Hassan Yebda, Mehdi Lacen, Karim Matmour & Abdelkaded Ghezzal.

BEST PLAYERS

Most of their best players come from the backline and they play abroad.

Nadir Belhadj is a box-2-box defender that spent most of his career in France before his latest move to Portsmouth. He is a fan’s favorite due to the fact that he pushes forward the team going back and forth constantly. This season he has had 30 appearances with 5 goals and 3 assists to his name. Before he played with Algerian national team he did represent France national youth team. He will create danger in case the playing on the break strategy from his coach pays off.

Madjid Bougherra is a 6’2” central defender that plays for Glasgow Rangers and best known for his aerial ability and time precision like golf actions. Often rated among the best central defenders from the whole continent has had a safe season with 30 matches, 4 goals and 3 assists.

Karim Ziani currently with Wolfsburg is considered to be the best player under Algerian nationality in the last couple of years and in the 2004 with 24 years old he cemented his place in the best XI of the competition. His extraordinary talent compiled with technique, creativity and dribbling makes him the architect to chances for Algeria even though it will be hard for the African nation to take something from this group. He was the best scorer in the qualifying stages for his nation.

SURPRISE

No surprise omissions.

STATEMENTS

"Our qualification has made it possible for the country to put itself back on the map. It’s a joy and even an honour to be at the origin of that. I’m touched to the see the happiness we have given our people. It’s a splendid example to have set the young,” Rabah Saadane, coach

-

- Rabah Saadane –

1 League – ES Sétif - 2007.

Career made of 111 matches with 49% Win, 25% Draw, 26% Loss, GS 1,32 GA 0,93

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – It is never good to depend upon on single player, but still most squads work around that path. Algeria might be no different. They will rely on Ziani to perform at his top form. Does Ziani got game?

Weaknesses – Algeria is not a consistent squad, because mostly they play around surprise factor, meaning that they can do the best but often go for the worse.

Since 2008 their run of results consists of 9 wins, 3 draws and 8 loses, scoring 21 and conceding 21. Wins only contemplate weaker sides than the Algerian one such as Liberia, Gambia, Rwanda and Zambia.

Opportunities – If they rub their magical lamp and ask to the genie to allow Aladdin’s to join them on the pitch. Otherwise they have two options. Either ask Greece’s Otto Rehhagel the secret beyond euro 2004’s glory or simply England, USA, Slovenia underperform.

Threats – Algeria is their own threat and rated as the weakest link from Group C as they haven’t won any of their last 5 matches cruising to losses such as 3-0 against Serbia, 4-0 against Egypt and only to have scored in one of those latest 5 matches.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Algeria is in position number 31 of the ranking behind of Paraguay and ahead of Ghana and Denmark.

ACHIEVEMENTS

1 Africa Cup of Nations – 1990

1 Afro-Asia Cup of Nations – 1991

CASTROL INDEX

LAST 10 MATCHES

Algeria 3 1 Rwanda

Egypt 2 0 Algeria

Algeria 1 0 Egypt

Malawi 3 0 Algeria

Mali 0 1 Algeria

Angola 0 0 Algeria

Ivory Coast 2 3 Algeria

Algeria 0 4 Egypt

Nigeria 1 0 Algeria

Algeria 0 3 Serbia


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