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Algeria vs Russia match preview: Fabio Capello looks to erase memories of England's 2010 campaign as Algeria look to make history in effective eliminator

Algeria's Vahid Halilhodzic had high praise for Capello but the stress for both was clear to see as they face potential World Cup elimination

Before the reckoning, there was a strong degree of respect. It was also somewhat fitting that there was such warmth between Vahid Halilhodzic and Fabio Capello on the eve of the effective knock-out match involving their Algeria and Russia teams, because they ended up striking a rather similar theme. Halilhodzic had stated that, no matter what happens in Curitiba today, the Italian is still one of the best managers in the world.

Capello thanked him for his words, but couldn’t really argue with why the question was asked. The 68-year-old is hoping to prevent another international failure following his dismal 2010 experience with England, and to bring Russia to the second stage of the World Cup for the first time since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

“This is an extremely important for match us,” Capello stated.

Halihodzic said something very similar.

“I think it's probably the most important match of my career, but it is also the most important match for Algeria.”


The north African side have never got past the group stage, and are hoping to finally make amends for the misfortune of 1982, when West Germany and Austria effectively colluded for the result that send both European teams through at Algeria’s cost.

Halilhodzic admitted it hung over today’s game.

“We have spoken a lot about the 1982 generation and that was a super team... we will see their heirs tomorrow.”

It was because of that very match Fifa thereafter decided to play final group games at the same time, setting up such tense days like today, where Korea also take on Belgium. At the least, Algeria have the benefit of knowing exactly what they must do. A win would put them out of the reach of the Asian side and Russia, who only have a point each. A draw should be enough, given Korea’s inferior goal difference.

A reckoning awaits.