Algeria picks Leicester striker for World Cup game against Zambia

Striker Riyad Mahrez headlines Algeria’s 25-member team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B doubleheader qualifier against Zambia.

The 2016 CAF African Footballer of the Year and want-away striker from 2015/2016 EPL champions Leicester City has been selected by Algeria’s Spain-born coach Lucas Alcaraz for the September 2 date in Lusaka and September 5 lash in Constantine.

Mahrez has so far scored one goal in Algeria’s four games in 2017 Group B qualifiers.

Alcaraz has also called four home-based players who were part of Algeria’s unsuccessful 2018 CHAN qualifiers against Libya.

Algeria’s highly rated goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi is also coming for the first leg match to be held at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

But their will only have two players who are familiar with Zambia, both from the two nations last international meeting in 2011 at Under-23 level.

Defender and former Under 23-captain Brahim Boudebouda and striker Sofiane Hanni are set to face Zambia again for the first time since the 2012 London Olympics qualifiers that Algeria won 3-2 aggregate.

Zambia won the final leg 2-0.

Goalkeeper Allan Chibwe, defender Simon Silwimba, midfielder John Chingandu and Alex Ngonga are notable survivors from that last international encounter between the two side at that level.

However, goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene and defender Stoppila Sunzu are the senior survivors from the two sides last senior meeting in the 2012 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that Algeria won 1-0 at and 2-0 away in Chililabombwe.

Meanwhile, Zambia is 3rd in Group B on 1 point, tied with Algeria and are two points behind 2nd placed Cameroon and a further five points adrift of leaders Nigeria.

Algeria Team:

Goalkeepers: Rais M’Bolhi (Rennes – France) Abdelkadir Salhi (CR Belouizdad – Algeria), Mehdi Jeannin (Clermont Foot – France).

Defenders: Faouzi Ghoulam (SSC Napoli – Italy), Brahim Boudebouda (MC Algiers – Algeria), Youcef Atal (KV Kortrijk – Belgium), Rami Bensebaïni (Rennes – France), Carl Medjani (Trabzonspor – Turkey), Aïssa Mandi (Real Betis – Spain), Ilias Hassani (Cherno More Varna – Bulgaria).

Midfielders: Raouf Benguit (USM Algiers – Algeria), Adlene Guedioura (Middlesbrough FC – England), Nabil Bentaleb (FC Schalke 04 – Germany), Saphir Taïder (Bologna FC – Italy), Sofiane Daham (Sochaux – France).

Forward: Hilal El Arabi Soudani (GNK Dinamo Zagreb – Croatia), Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto – Portugal), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City FC – England), Sofiane Hanni(RSC Anderlecht – , Rachid Ghezzal (AS Monaco – France), Islam Slimani (Leicester City FC – England), Idriss Saadi (RC Strasbourg – France).

New call-upsKamel Belarbi (USM El Harrach – Algeria), Usama Darfalou (USM Alger – Algeria).

         

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