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manor15

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
8,120
Algeria

Manager: Rabah Saadane
Captain: Yazid Mansouri
FIFA Ranking: 27
Group C

Background: Algeria, or les Fennecs (the Desert Foxes), will be making their third World Cup appearance after appearing twice consecutively in 1982 and 1986, exiting at the group stage on both occasions. Algeria's first World Cup game was a shock 2-1 win over West Germany which led to controversy in the final group game; with West Germany needing to win to progress, it would be generous to say that Austria even turned up for the game, which West Germany won 1-0, sparking controversy. In Mexico in 1986, it was internal problems that caused Algeria to secure just one point in the tournament.

Qualification: A controversial campaign saw Algeria beat the likes of Zambia and Rwanda in order to qualify but Egypt scored a last minute goal in Cairo meaning they would face a tough play-off against Egypt. The Egyptians, and African Cup of Nations holders, gave the Algerians a hostile welcome to Cairo in that match, which involved the squad coach getting stoned, but Algeria got revenge as Antar Yahia scored to give Algeria a 1-0 play off win in Sudan and to put them through to the World Cup finals.

The Team
Strengths: The Green's have got a fresh, young squad that have tthe fitness and pace to threaten ageing sides. This previously meant that there was a lack of professionalism within the camp but this has since been eradicated by Saadane, alongside the inconsistency that blighted the side but has since disappeared. Algeria are now one of Africa's most consistent sides on home soil and rarely lose.
Weaknesses: The worst situation you can be in at a World Cup: a side that can't win away from home. Just two away wins since 2003 don't prove good reading for Algerian fans, not helped by the fact that they have only scored five goals in their last nine games, and the side are too dependent on ageing striker Rafik Saifi who is only getting worse with age.
The Manager: Rabah Sadaane is an Algerian legend. He has been involved in every major football tournament campaign that Algeria have taken part in since they gained independence from France in 1962. The 63-year old also has huge amounts of experience from winning the African Championship with Rajah Casablanca to managing the Yemen national team and his experience gains the respect he wants from his players.

Star Men: Karim Ziani (VfL Wolfsburg)
The 5'7" playmaker, currently playing for Wolfsburg in Germany, was born in France but due to his ancestry plays as the creative midfielder for Les Fennecs. The 27-year old has 52 caps, scoring four goals, three of which came in World Cup qualifying for this summer's tournament. In the team of the tournament for the 2004 African Cup of Nations, Ziani has also won the Algerian Ballon d'Or twice; in 2006 and 2007. His tackling and passing could be compared to the style of Xabi Alonso.
Rafik Saifi (FC Listres (on loan from Al Khor))
The veteran of the side, the 35-year old lacks the pace he once had but is still Algeria's only goal threat. The striker was late to develop on the international scene but since his debut in 1998 he has made 60 appearances, scoring 19 times. Known as "big brother" to his teammates, Saifi has sunk a few levels recently and is currently on loan at a Ligue 2 side in France, from a team in Qatar, where many say he is just seeing out his career.

manor15's Prediction
Group Stages. The African side will struggle away from Blida, the Algerian footballing capital, as they have since 2003 and no obvious source of goals will also leave the Algerians struggle. It is also unlikely that their defence will be able to cope with the likes of Rooney and Donovan in the group stages. They will most probably be outclassed in every department but will fight hard to show their spirit and professionalism to keep their pride in the world's biggest football tournament.
 
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