World Cup Team Profile - Algeria
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic
Captain: Madjid Bougherra (Lekhwiya)
Full Algeria Roster
The Road to Rio: Algeria cruised through their group stage in the CAF, dropping just one game of six. That loss came early on at the hands of Mali. The other nations in the group – Benin and Rwanda – would manage just one goal combined against the Algerians.
Sporting (Portugal) striker Islam Slimani was the difference-maker for Algeria in the group stage, potting five goals in four separate matches.
A playoff against Burkina Faso was decided by a razor-thin margin, with Algeria advancing 3-3 on away goals. They sealed their advancement with a 1-0 second leg win thanks to an early second-half goal by Madjid Bugherra. The win was protested, as Burkina Faso believed Bougherra ineligible to play in the match. Still, the result stood, sending Algeria to a second straight Final.
Last World Cup appearance: South Africa 2010 (Group Stage)
First World Cup appearance: Spain 1982 (Group Stage)
Previous World Cup appearances: 3
Best World Cup finish: Group Stage
Algeria are playing in their second consecutive World Cup after being eliminated in the 2010 tournament at the Group stage.
Though they did earn a draw against England and dropped their final contest late against the United States, their biggest downfall in the tournament was that they failed to score a goal.
In Brazil they will count on Valencia midfielder Sofiane Feghouli to control and create their offence, especially from the right side of the park.
Also key to improving on their South African results will be Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, and Napoli’s Faouzi Ghoulam who will be part of their defensive line.
Manager Vahid Halilhodzic will have his side playing a very responsible defensive system and in that regard they have proven themselves to be a difficult team to breakdown at the back.
It has been a long generation since the Algerian success of the 1982 World Cup, an upside that ended controversially at the hands of West Germany and Austria.
They will be hard pressed to repeat the success of the tournament in Spain that saw them capture two group stage victories, but if they can find a few goals they might stumble into an upset in Brazil.