After France allowed players from outside the European Union to join the national team, but under conditions, the Algerian national team coach Djamel Belmadi has published a list of 28 Fennecs, including three new ones, for the last two games of the CAN 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, in Lusaka against Zambia (25 March) and in Blida against Botswana (29 March).
Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has called up for the first time the two defenders Ahmed Touba (RKC Waalwijk, Belgium) and Naoufel Khacef (Tondela, Portugal), as well as the midfielder Ramiz Zerrouki (Twente, Netherlands). Hilal Soudani (Al-Fath FC, Saudi Arabia), Youcef Belaïli (Qatar SC, Qatar), Rachid Ghezzal (Besiktas, Turkey), Oussama Darfalou (SBV Vitesse, Netherlands), Mehdi Zeffane (Krylia Sovetov, Russia), Abdelkader Bedrane (Esperance, Tunisia) and Hocine Benayada (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia) are all making their comeback to the Fennecs squad.
Djamel Belmadi will have to do without the services of two OGC Nice players, Youcef Atal, who is back from injury, and Hicham Boudaoui, who is injured. Defender Mohamed Réda Halaïmia (K. Beerschot VA, Belgium), midfielder Yacine Brahimi (Al-Rayyan SC, Qatar) and Montpellier striker Andy Delort.
Borussia Monchengladbach defender Ramy Bensebaina, who was suspended against Zambia, has been included in the 28-man squad but will make his return against Botswana. The same goes for English Premier League internationals Riyad Mahrez and Said Benrahma, who have been retained by their clubs due to Covid-19 restrictions. They will be unavailable for Thursday’s away match in Lusaka, but will be present for the second match in Blida against Botswana.
Algeria (1st, 10 pts), already qualified for the next CAN, shifted to 2022, at the end of the 4th day in November 2020, will start, this Monday, a training course at the National Technical Centre of Sidi-Moussa (Algiers), before flying, Tuesday from 10:00 am (09:00 GMT), to Lusaka, on board a special flight.
List of the 28 Algerians against Zambia and Botswana
Goalkeepers (3): Rais M’bolhi (Al-Ettifaq, Saudi Arabia), Azzedine Doukha (Al-Raed, Saudi Arabia), Alexandre Oukidja (FC Metz, France).
Defenders (10): Mehdi Zeffane (Krylia Sovetov, Russia), Ayoub Abdelaoui (FC Sion, Switzerland), Aïssa Mandi (Betis Seville, Spain), Mehdi Tahrat (Abha Club, Saudi Arabia), Djamel Benlamri (Lyon, France), Ramy Bensebaïni (Mönchengladbach, Germany), Hocine Benayada (Etoile du Sahel/Tunisia), Abdelkader Bedrane (Esperance, Tunisia), Ahmed Touba (RKC Waalwijk, Belgium), Naoufel Khacef (Tondela, Portugal).
Midfielders (6): Adlène Guedioura (Al-Gharafa, Qatar), Mehdi Abeid (Al-Nasr, United Arab Emirates), Ramiz Zerrouki (Twente, Netherlands), Ismaël Bennacer (AC Milan, Italy), Haris Belkebla (Brest, France), Farid Boulaya (FC Metz, France).
Forwards (9): Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, England), Rachid Ghezzal (Besiktas, Turkey), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray, Turkey), Youcef Belaïli (Qatar SC, Qatar), Saïd Benrahma (West Ham, England), Hilal Soudani (Al-Fath FC, Saudi Arabia), Oussama Darfalou (SBV Vitesse, Netherlands), Baghdad Bounedjah (Al-Sadd, Qatar), Islam Slimani (Lyon, France).