This year marks Algeria’s first appearance in a FIFA World Cup competition for 24 years, and their third appearance overall. The team is a far cry from their 1982 line-up, which defeated West Germany and Chile before losing to Austria. Their form in qualifying was mixed during the away games, but they did win all six of their home matches, finishing top of the group just one point ahead of Egypt. A lot of the players here have experience of playing in Europe (although it’s the first time Algeria will play England) – will it be enough?
Saadane went to the World Cup with Algeria in 1982 as part of the coaching staff and has managed them on and off ever since, his current stint beginning in 2007. Has yet to have a major victory with the team.
Player to watch
Yahia is a bit of a hero in Algeria, as he was responsible for the goal that put his team through to the World Cup. Earlier this year he was voted Best Arab Player in a poll created by TV channel MBC.
We’re on the ball
World Cup appearances: 2
Previous best: Group stages, 1986
Odds of winning: 600/1
Strange but true: It was due to Algeria’s protests in 1982 to FIFA that the last two World Cup group matches are played at the same time
Fixtures: Slovenia, June 13, 3.30pm, Polokwane England, June 18, 10.30pm, Cape Town USA, June 23, 6pm, Pretoria