Boastful Algeria team arrives, vows to cage Nigeria
Members of the Algerian delegation for Saturday’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against the Super Eagles are expected in Lagos today en route Uyo, venue of the encounter.
The Algerians converged on the National Technical Centre Sidi Moussa on Sunday to start preparation for the encounter under the supervision of their new coach, George Leekens.
The Algerians, who have been training twice daily, are expected to have their morning session today before boarding a chartered flight to Nigeria.
Reports by the Algerian press say Coach Leekens has been hit by a rash of withdrawals by some of the invited players suffering different shades of injury.
The already withdrawn players are Tahart, Ghezzal and Hilal Soudani, who suffered an ankle injury while playing for Dinamo Zagreb against NK Split and had to be substituted.
Ghezzal and Boudebouz were examined by Algeria team doctors before they were excused from the training camp, while Dynamo Zagreb striker Soudani did not even fly down to Algiers, but his medical record was checked by the national team medical staff.
According to a statement by the Algeria football federation (FAF), three players have been drafted to the squad as a result.
They are Baghdad Bounedjah, Yassine Benzia and Ismael Bennacer.
But the withdrawals have not dampened the Algerians’ belief that they would get victory in Nigeria.
On Monday, Algerian Football Federation (AFF) President, Mohamed Raouraoua, urged the team to show that they are superior to Nigeria by getting a win in Uyo.
Following a draw at home to Cameroun in their opener, Algeria need a good result in West Africa to keep in touch with leaders Nigeria.
“You have a duty to come back with a positive result from the match against Nigeria. It is mandatory. We must win there,” Raouraoua told the players.
“All the Algerian people are behind you. They support you and hope for a good result in Nigeria. We must not disappoint, it’s all I can say,” added the Algerian FF president.
“The World Cup is an important event that should not be missed. You should know that everyone is behind you.”