Head Coach: Vahid Halihodzic has overseen Algerian football since 2011 and leads them into their third World Cup. The former Yugoslavian international player has Paris Saint Germain and Dinamo Moscow on his managerial CV and has experience at international level with Cote d’Ivorie (Ivory Coast). This will be the first World cup he attends as a coach, having played in the 1982 tournament.
The Star: Sofiane Feghouli
The attacking midfielder holds the key to all attacking Algerian moves and will play a large role in Brazil. Currently plying his trade in Spain for Valencia the 2012 Algerian player of the year will be the attacking force behind his inexperienced team chances. Known for his assists, more than his goal scoring powers Feghouli will need to rely on his teammates to penetrate the tougher international defences if his team are to progress to the second round for the first time in their history. The 24 year old was born in France and represented them at under 18 and 21 levels.
The Goal Scorer: El Arbi Hillel Soudani
Out of the 30 men named for Algeria, Soudani is the only player to have scored 10 or more goals at International level. Currently at Dinamo Zagreb Soudani had no problems finding the back of the net scoring 16 goals in 30 appearances and will be keen to make his presence felt in the group stage. Soudini scored his latest international goal in March against Slovenia
The Defensive Rock: Madjid Bougherra
In moments of need great captains stand up, this was no more evident than when Bougherra found the back of the net in the home leg of final qualifying against Bukina Faso. The central defender sent his country thru to Brazil on away goals, in what appears likely to be his final world cup. The experienced defender currently plays in Qatar, after stints at Rangers, Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday. Bougherra will need to be at the top of his game when coming up against the likes of Roman Lukaku and Eden Hazard.
June 18th v Belgium (2am AEST)
June 23rd v South Korea (5am)
June 27th v Russia (6am)
Prediction: A first round exit appears to be the most likely scenario, but this team could surprise. A relatively ‘weak’ group could see Algeria make a historic first ever second round appearance.
FTSAUS Fact: At the 2010 World Cup Algeria managed to secure a point, even though they failed to score a single goal. The 0-0 draw against England made the World stand up and take note of their defensive capabilities.
Previous World Cup appearances: 1982, 1986 and 2010