FIFA RANKING : 30
Les Fennecs or The desert Foxes are playing in the tournament after 24 years of staying put . In the meantime the 30th ranked team managed to win an African Nations Cup in 1990 . Algeria ensured that their qualification will go down to the wire and they just needed to not lose the game by difference of more than Three goals.Prior to the game Les Fennecs team bus was attacked by fierce hooligans leaving some of the players injured . And they lost the game by margin of Two goals and they were ready to go to South Africa after a long wait of 24 years .
THE MANAGER :
Rabah Saadane a former algerian national footballer ended his career at the age of 27 due to unfortunate car accident . This is his fifth term as a manager of Algerian national team and so far the most successful with the qualification for SA 2010 WC finals .
THE SQUAD :
Goalkeepers: Lounes Gaouaoui (ASO Chlef), Faouzi Chaouchi (Entente Setif), Rais M Bolhi (Slavia Sofia, Bulgaria)
Defenders: Abdelkader Laifaoui (Entente Setif), Madjid Bougherra (Rangers, Scotland), Carl Medjani (Ajaccio, France), Rafik Halliche (Nacional Madeira, Portugal), Anther Yahia (Bochum, Germany), Habib Belaid (Boulogne-sur-Mer, France), Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth, England), Djamel Mesbah (Lecce, Italy)
Midfielders: Hassan Yebda (Portsmouth, England), Medhi Lacen (Racing Santander, Spain), Yazid Mansouri (Lorient, France), Adlene Guedioura (on loan at Wolverhampton, England from Charleroi, Belgium), Riad Boudebouz (Sochaux, France), Djamel Abdoun (Nantes, France), Fouad Kadir (Valenciennes, France), Karim Ziani (Wolfsburg, Germany), Karim Matmour (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany)
Strikers: Abdelkader Ghezzal (Siena, Italy), Rafik Djebbour (AEK Athens, Greece), Rafik Saifi (Istres, France)
MAN TO WATCH
Usually we confuse with the term Player to watch as A forward or maybe a Winger who can assist as well as score . But in fact the term Man to Watch is for the one who builds the team . Who is the focal point . And hence I chose Nadir Belhadj . The Left wing backstarted his career with French U-20 side making only 2 appearences for them . Nadir usually plays as a full back but sometimes goes forward playing as a left winger . He has a good pace and his height ensures him to be a very good defender too .
Algeria are placed in a group with England, USA and Slovenia. England are without any doubt the toppers of their group and they will qualify. USA are favorites to take that second spot. So Algeria are to fight for the third spot with Slovenia. But they have to be cautious, Slovenia being last seeded in their group . They are not the ones to be trifled with. They are going in good and will put a strong fight. They are most likely to win the third spot.