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Friendlies

  • May 31, 2014
  • • 17:00
  • • Stade de Tourbillon, Sion
  • Referee: S. Amhof
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Algeria-Armenia Preview: Halilhodzic aims to maintain good form

Algeria-Armenia Preview: Halilhodzic aims to maintain good form

The north Africans have only conceded once in their last four games and will be eager to add attacking potency to their plans as they prepare for the World Cup

Algeria's solid defensive record will likely be tested in their second World Cup preparation friendly against Armenia on Saturday.

In the build-up to their Group H opener against Belgium on June 17, Vahid Halilhodzic has seen his side secure a 2-0 friendly win over Slovenia, having qualified for the World Cup on away goals against Burkina Faso.

Algeria suffered a rare defensive off-day in Ouagadougou but made it through after their 1-0 second-leg win.

Halilhodzic's defence has been breached in just one of their last four outings - something that will offer confidence to Algeria as they seek to improve on a disappointing showing in South Africa four years ago.

They picked up just one point in 2010 while failing to score and face a tricky task in Brazil against experienced sides such as Belgium, South Korea and Russia.

Another clean sheet against Armenia, as well as some offensive joy, could both happen against Armenia - who showed their defensive weaknesses and their attacking threat against the UAE in midweek.

Bernard Challandes' men won through in a seven-goal thriller - but goals from Ali Khaled Al Amri, Mohamed Abdulrahman and Salem Saleh in Carouge will fill Algeria's forwards with hope.

Skipper Madjid Bougherra and his fellow defenders will also be able to test themselves out against some offensive quality at the Stade de Tourbillon in Sion - such as Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan and striker Yura Movsisyan - prolific in the Russian Premier League for Spartak Moscow.

Challandes will take charge of his third friendly at the helm of the Armenian national side with the UAE defeat showing the first signs of positivity after an initial defeat to Russia.

His decision to broaden the scope of which players to call up appears to be paying dividends and victory over Algeria in the nations' first meeting would certainly give Armenia a boost ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which gets under way in September.

For Algeria, their Armenian test will be the second of three friendlies against European opposition ahead of their clash with Belgium and players will be well aware that Halilhodzic has yet to trim his squad down to 23.

Yacine Brahimi is one Algeria player refusing to take his place for granted, telling fifa.com: "I'm not there yet but it's very satisfying to be one of the players under consideration.

"And no matter who goes in the end, the team will be giving its all. The Algerian people are proud but demanding too. The team has responsibilities and it will have to shoulder them.

"It's a very tough group, with an excellent Belgium team, not to mention Russia and Korea Republic, who are both regular finalists."

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Algeria

Armenia

Wins
1
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Algeria ALG
Algeria Algeria
Draw
Armenia ARM
Armenia Armenia
50%
42%

Top 3 Predictions

Algeria ALG
2 - 0
Armenia ARM
Algeria ALG
3 - 1
Armenia ARM
Algeria ALG
2 - 1
Armenia ARM

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