Prepare to lose, Algerian star player warns Harambee Stars
Algeria is looking past Kenya and its other Group C opponents as far the team’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations ambitions is concerned, midfielder Sofiane Feghouli has warned.
In an interview with Algeria FA website Feghouli also said the Desert Foxes have no choice other than beat Harambee Stars in their opening match of the tournament at the June 30 Stadium on June 23.
Senegal and Tanzania make up the other teams in the group.
Ranked 70th on the updated Fifa standings, some 38 places above Kenya, Algeria has won this continental championship once in the past. That was way back in 1990 and the team has since struggled to dominate the stage in recent times.
The North Africans even failed to progress past the group stage of the last edition of this tournament which was hosted in Gabon.
This form hasn’t stopped the Galatasaray midfielder from talking big.
“I am convinced we are ready. The first match of the group is always important to win to start the competition. In any case, we will take the games one after the other. We do not fear people, we are serious about returning to the country with the Cup,” Feghouli told Algeria FA’s official website.
The Algerians, who have Manchester City attacker Riyad Mahrez in their ranks, were scheduled to face Burundi in Doha on Tuesday night in a match that coach Djamel Behmadi insisted has to be played behind closed doors.
Another match against Mali is lined up for Saturday.
None of the 23-players called up ply their trade in their home country.
Algeria squad – Goalkeepers: Rais M’Bolhi (El Etifaq, Saudi Arabia), Azzedine Doukha (Al Raed, Saudi Arabia,) Alexandre Oukidja (Metz, France), Defenders: Aissa Mandi (Real Betis, Spain), Mehdi Zeffane (Rennes, France), Ramy Bensebaini (Rennes, France) Rafik Halliche (Moreirense, Portugal), Mehdi Tahrat (Len, France), Djamel Benlamri (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Youcef Atal (Nice, France), Mohammed Fares (SPAL, Italy), Midfielders: Haris Belkebla (Brest, France), Ismail Bennacer (Empoli, Italy) Mehdi Abeid (Dijon, France), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray, Turkey), Adlene Guedioura (Nottingham Forest, England), Hicham Boudaoui (Paradou), Forwards: Adam Ounas (Naples, Italy), Riyard Mahrez (Manchester City, England), Islam Slimani (Fenerbache, Turkey), Yacine Brahimi (Porto, Portugal), Baghdad Bounedjah (Al Sadd, Qatar), Youcef Belaili (Esperance, Tunisia)