world-cup-trophyALGERIA. They’re supposed to be crap right? Well, frankly, you’re not too far off the mark but don’t expect us to hammer them. Their well-drilled, European-based defence is the focal point of the team and the reason they reached the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations in January despite only scoring one goal in their group.
They also beat the Ivory Coast in the quarter finals before being battered by eventual winners Egypt – who they had the last laugh over by beating in a World Cup qualifying play-off.
Their biggest problem is up front. Their most prolific striker Rafik Saifi had been plying his trade with Qatar side Al Khor until January when his form earned a dream loan move to Europe with French ‘giants’ Istres. He’s 35. Algeria’s three other strikers have conjured up seven goals in 57 caps between them – but will still probably be favoured over old man Rafik.