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Football | Africa

Hammar Ziri © Backpagepix

Algeria look to spoil Nigeria's party

Algeria are set to welcome Nigeria in the 2018 Fifa World Cup Qualification Caf group B match at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui on Friday.

Kick-off is at 9:30pm CAT.

The Desert Warriors will be hoping to end their qualifying campaign with a victory, having failed to qualify for next year's finals which will be hosted by Russia.

Algeria are heading into this match winless in group B, and they have recorded one draw and four defeats. They have accumulated one point from five games.

The north African giants are set to finish fourth in the group as they are five points behind third-placed Cameroon, who beat Algeria 2-0 in Yaounde last month.

Algeria's new head coach Rabah Madjer, who will look to Leicester City FC duo Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani, says he knows what to expect from Nigeria.

“I have studied the Nigerian team, apart from (Alex) Iwobi, every other player is mostly a substitute for his team in Europe, but that doesn’t mean they will not be at the level to face," Madjer said.

“The game against Nigeria is not a friendly match for me…to me it is the first game of the qualifiers for the 2018 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nigeria will be looking to end their successful qualifying campaign with a victory, having already qualified for the World Cup.

The Super Eagles have dominated group B having recorded four wins and one draw. They have collected 13 points from five matches.

The group B winners are six points ahead of second-placed Zambia, who suffered a 1-0 defeat to Nigeria in Uyo last month.

Anthony Nwakaeme and Chidiebere Nwakali are some of the new faces in the Super Eagles squad and they are likely to be unleashed by Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr on Friday.

“All the games are important, it’s right we have already qualified for the World Cup, so the result is not the most important, the most important in this game will be to play a good game," Rohr said.

“We always play to make good games and good results, but it’s an opportunity for us to see some players who didn’t play so much during the qualifiers because we have our team, and now we have six injuries, so it will be at least six changes.”


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