The Fennecs are hoping that a return to Blida will help them recover from a 2-1 away loss to Mali and that they can rediscover the form that saw them score four goals past Rwanda
Hachoud, Medjani, Belkalem, Mesbah
Guedioura, Lacen, Feghouli
Danso, K. Ceesay, Jammeh, Koli
Kujabi, Jagne, Gassama, Saine,
Jarju, M. Ceesay
Algeria began the month of June on a high with a 4-0 home win against Rwanda in 2014 World Cup qualifying but followed it up with a disappointing 2-1 away loss to Mali in a game where things could not have started more perfectly for them. Now Vahid Halilhodzic is facing his first bit of adversity during his mostly successful, albeit short, time at the head of the Fennecs. Thankfully for him and his side, Algeria go into this match against Gambia with the luxury of two crucial away goals scored in Bangui back in February during a 2-1 come from behind victory against the west Africans.
In that match, Momodou Ceesay put the Scorpions up 1-0 in the first half before the north Africans reacted with second half goals from Antar Yahia and successful new recruit Sofiane Feghouli. Coach Halilhodzic will have to re-motivate his players like he did at half time on that day in order to make sure that their loss against the Eagles this past weekend is looked back on as a mere blip in an otherwise positive run of results.
On the other hand, Gambia coach Luciano Mancini has his own motivational work to do as his side have just one point in the bag after two matches played in 2014 World Cup qualifiers. An unlikely away win against Algeria would be the ideal way for his team to respond to them losing a key match in Tanzania, one that they simply had to have in a group that also includes the likes of Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire.
Though they have improved a great deal at youth level, the Gambians have never qualified for Africa’s flagship tournament at senior level and would go down in history as the sole side to do so should they somehow conjure at least two unanswered away goals in Blida. It is a tough ask for them considering that they very rarely win on the road, but stranger things have happened in football.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Gambia have not won a game since their 3-0 victory over the DR Congo in October of 2011.
The Scorpions’ next match in 2014 World Cup qualifying is an away test against none other than Group C table toppers Cote d’Ivoire while the Fennecs will host Benin.
- The west Africans have never qualified for the World Cup or the Afcon and will be hoping to change that on Friday.
Algeria have faced the west Africans on five prior occasions, winning four times and losing once in Bakau. All the games between the two sides have been close, with neither winning by more than a one-goal margin on any occasion.
Following Algeria’s 2-1 loss to Mali in Ouagadougou, former Algerian coach Rabah Saadane said that he thought the omission of former team talisman Karim Ziani was a big loss for the country’s national team given his wealth of experience playing in various African locales. Meanwhile, Fennecs legend Rabah Madjer hopes that the loss to the Eagles will end up jolting the side into a recovery.