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Africa Cup of Nations

Algeria v Kenya: Kick off, TV channel, squad news & preview

7:23 AM WAT 23/06/2019
Patrick Matasi of Harambee Stars and Aboud Omar.
The Sebastien Migne led Harambee Stars have everything to prove when they face the North African giants in their Group C opener on Sunday

Harambee Stars will be aiming for a good start when they face Algeria in their opening Afcon 2019 Group C match on Sunday.

Kenya, who are making a return to the Africa Cup of Nations finals after a 15-year absence, will also face tournament favourites Senegal and neighbours Tanzania in the other two Group matches.

But a win against the North African side will increase their chances of making it to the knock out stage of the competition for the first time in six attempts.

The last time Kenya took part in the competition was in 2004 in Tunisia when they managed to win their first ever match, a 3-0 win against Burkina Faso.

Analysts feel Senegal and Algeria are best placed to progress from Group C, with Kenya and Tanzania being considered outsiders, but all that could change with a favourable result in the opening fixture.

Game Algeria vs Kenya
Date Sunday, June 23
Time 11:00pm Kenyan Time

TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch

In Kenya, the game will be shown live on SuperSport and KCB Channel One.

DSTV channel Free-to-air channel 
SuperSport 4 & 9 KCB Channel One

Squads & Team News

Position Missing players
None None
None None

The Algerian team is made up of players who ply their trades abroad; no player from the domestic league made it into the final squad.

The Metz duo of goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja, and attacking midfielder Farid Boulaya are the new faces in the team that is headlined by Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez.

“We are going to try to make our way to the final, we have very good players, we have a good mix of young and experienced players, a good team and a good coach. Thanks to that, we will try to go far," Mahrez told reporters in a recent interview.

“To the Algerian fans, we will do our best to make you happy and come back with the Cup.”

Probable XI for Algeria: M'Bolhi, Benlamri, Mandi, Bensebaini, Atal, Feghouli, Guediora, Mahrez, Brahimi, Belaili and Bounedjah.

Position Missing player
Defender Brian Mandela

All eyes will be on captain Victor Wanyama who turns out for Tottenham Hotspur. The midfielder has had an injury-ravaged season but seems to be back to full fitness now.

Kenya enjoyed a three-week training camp in France in readiness for the tournament and the only problem to emerge from camp was the injury suffered by defender Brian Mandela, who turns out for South African side Maritzburg United.

The injury will force Kenyan coach Sebastien Migne to shuffle his backline with Zambia-based and former Gor Mahia defender Musa Mohammed set to start in place of Mandela, and he could be partnered with Joash Onyango in the centre of defence, while Philemon Otieno will start from the right flank.

Coach Migne has admitted that it was a blow to lose Mandela but he hopes his charges can down the North African nation on Sunday night.

“It was a blow of course when you go into a big tournament like Afcon without your top players. That is the case for us when we lost Mandela, he was part of this team from the qualifiers and I would have loved to have him in the squad,” Migne told reporters in Egypt.

“Against Algeria, it will be another competition and a different opponent and we must prepare the bodies well and find the good tempo from the players and hope for the best.”

Probable XI for Kenya: Matasi, Otieno, Onyango, Musa, Omar, Odhiambo, Wanyama, Masika, Johanna, Kahata and Olunga.

Match Preview

2004 remains the best Afcon outing for Kenya. Prior to that edition, Harambee Stars had not scored a goal in the finals, nor won a game, but under coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, they finally broke that jinx with a 3-0 victory against Burkina Faso.

Algeria performed dismally in the 2017 Afcon, managing just two points from Group B, that also had Senegal, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. They definitely want to do better than that.

Harambee Stars goalkeeper Patrick Matasi has conceded two goals in his last three games in all competitions, saved two penalties and committed three grave mistakes. He has to be solid against Algeria on Sunday night.

Baghdad Bounedjah scored three goals for the Desert Foxes during the qualifiers. He is a deadly striker who can easily punish any team when given an opportunity.

Stars' midfielder Erick Johanna was involved in four goals that his team scored in the qualifiers. If he clicks well in the Afcon, then expect the East African side to roar.

This will be Kenya’s sixth appearance at the tournament and in the last five, they have never gone beyond the group stages, recording only one win in the 14 matches played since 1972. Kenya has lost nine times and drawn four matches.

Algeria had two pre-Afcon matches against Burundi and Mali, drawing 1-1 and winning 3-2 respectively. On the other hand, Kenya won against Madagascar by a solitary goal before drawing 1-1 against DRC Congo.