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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Manchester City’s Mahrez, AC Milan's Bennacer headline Algeria squad for Cameroon

21:52 EAT 19/03/2022
Riyad Mahrez Algeria 16012022
The Desert Foxes have named a strong squad for their fixture against the Indomitable Lions as they aim to qualify for Qatar 2022

The Algerian Football Federation has named a 24-man squad for this month’s 2022 Fifa World Cup play-off fixtures against Cameroon. 

The North Africans are hoping to qualify for the global football showpiece for the fifth time ever, albeit, they must see off Rigobert Song’s men to actualise that dream.

To get the job done, coach Djamel Belmadi has put faith in most of the players who represented the country at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations - where they were eliminated from the group stage.

Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez headlines the squad alongside Villarreal defender Aissa Mandi, AC Milan's Ismael Bennacer, FC Twente's Ramiz Zerrouki and Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja.

For goalscoring responsibilities, the 2019 African kings will be counting on Besiktas’ Rachid Ghezzal, Brest’s Youcef Belaili, and Sporting Lisbon’s Islam Slimani. 

Algeria visit the Japoma Stadium, Douala for the first leg on March 25 before welcoming the Indomitable Lions to Blida’s Mustapha Tchaker Stadium four days later. 

Belmadi’s side last qualified for the global football tournament in Brazil 2014. There, they crashed out after the Round of 16 after losing 2-1 to eventual winners inside Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre.

The tactician stated his team are eager to make people happy with their performance after a failed expedition at Afcon 2021. 

“We want to make our people happy. A qualification in March will allow us to prepare in euphoria. I wanted to do this job to play in a World Cup,” Belmadi said in a press conference, via Foot Mercato.
“This is the last time we have a World Cup in this configuration. Mahrez has played in the World Cup once. It's a priority for him.”

Since their debut in Spain 1982, Algeria have participated in the World Cup on four occasions, with their best outing in Brazil. 

ALGERIA FULL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Rais M'Bolhi (Al-Etiffaq), Alexandre Oukidja (Metz), Moustapha Zeghba (Damac FC)

Defenders: Aissa Mandi (Villarreal), Abdelkader Bedrane (Espérance Tunis), Mehdi Tahrat (Al-Gharafa), Djamel Benlamri (Qatar SC), Ahmed Touba (RKC Waalwijk), Youcef Atal (Nice), Houcine Benayada (ES Sahel), Youcef Laouafi (ES Sahel), Ramy Bensebaini (Mönchengladbach)

Midfielders: Ramiz Zerrouki (Twente), Hichem Boudadoui (Nice), Sofiane Bendebka (Al Fateh), Adlene Guedioura (Burton Albion), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray), Ismaël Bennacer (AC Milan)

Strikers: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), Rachid Ghezzal (Besiktas), Youcef Belaïli (Brest), Mohamed Benyettou (Al-Wakrah SC), Ishak Belfodil (Hertha Berlin), Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon)