Pumped-up Algerians are ready to do battle

The Algeria team have prepared for tonight's match with England by watching The Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo's war film based on the national uprising against French colonial rule in Algeria; proof, if it were needed, that Rabah Saadane loves drawing on raw emotion, when the football is lacking.

Saadane is an emotional fellow and there will be no calculated "parking the bus" like the Koreans and the Swiss have done in the past week, he assured us last night. "We will play differently because we have different human components and we play accordingly to what our possibilities are," he said. "You can't build a team on theory but on the characteristics of the players involved."

Even Fabio Capello, whose only observation on the opposition was they have some ability on the counter attack, may have shuddered to know that Saadane has recreated a mental image in his players' minds this week of the extraordinary night they won their play-off against old foes Egypt in Khartoum to qualify for the World Cup, braving missiles thrown at the team coach along the way.

There was plenty of deference from Saadane for "Mr Capello" as he always calls him, but Foued Kadir, the midfielder, has stoked the fires by describing England as "overhyped." Kadir, who is unlikely to start here, said England "isn't necessarily this great team that it's been endlessly billed as before the World Cup. It is like any other. They're not perfect, they have their shortcomings."

Ryad Boudebouz, the striker, went further. "England are the team under pressure," he said. "They are the ones who claimed that they came to win the World Cup." Kadir said Algeria have identified the England defence as a weak spot and there will be pot-shots at Robert Green.

Algeria have worries of their own about the goalkeeper's position, with Faouzi Chaouchi, whose fumble gifted Slovenia the only win in group C in Polokwane last Saturday, having trained with his left knee heavily strapped last night. The 25-year-old will undergo a fitness test at 11am this morning. If he is unable to take his place in the side, Rais M'Bolhi will come in. M'bolhu underwent a trial at Manchester United at the end of season and was considered well short of the mark.

Several of Saadane's players have been poached from the French national youth but Hassan Yebda, a junior international with Les Bleus, was still moved to learn more of the Algiers uprising. "We looked at the film yesterday – 15 of us – and it was a very moving moment," he said. "This is what we need to do to unify the group and keep together."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers