The Scouting Report: Algeria

An inside look at England's rivals in tonight's World Cup match


Karim Ziani, left midfield

Comfortably Algeria's most dangerous and creative player, who can operate on either flank and was deployed on the left against Slovenia although they played him on the right flank in the last qualifier. The French-born player's big money move to Marseilles in 2007 did not work out and he struggled to win a regular starting place at Wolfsburg last season, falling out with a team-mate, then picking up niggling injuries. But now fully fit, the acknowledged star of the side, who played in all but one of Algeria's World Cup qualifiers, is the player most likely to cause damage and he might be best placed to test England's goalkeeper. His dipping corners with the Jabulani caused Slovenia trouble last Saturday.

Karim Matmour, centre midfield

Generally a right-midfielder, he was used in an attacking midfield role against Slovenia, looking to get forward at every opportunity to support Rafik Djebbour, who he played behind against Slovenia. In training this week, the Borussia Monchengladbach player was rehearsing a role as a striker though it is a sign of the paucity of Algeria's striking options that a player who has scored two goals in 23 games, should be relied on for that role. Needs must, though. Djebbour was poor against Slovenia, his replacement Abdelkader Ghezzal was sent off and the other experienced striker, Rafik Saifi, is too old, at 35, to play a role from the start. Rabah Saadane may turn to the young Sochaux striker Ryad Boudebouz.

Anther Yahia, centre-half

The newly appointed captain, he was the first player to benefit from Fifa's rule change allowing him to represent Algeria U-23s in an Olympic qualifier against Ghana in 2004 even though he had represented France at U-18 level. Scored the winner against Egypt to help Algeria qualify for the World Cup and is now considered a national hero. He was born in Mulhouse to Algerian parents, he came through the academy at Sochaux before joining Internazionale but that did not work out and he returned to France with Bastia before joining Nice. He joined Bochum on loan in January 2007 and signed for them permanently the following summer.

Faouzi Chaouchi goalkeeper

Things happen to him. Good shot-stopper, indecisive with crosses and back-passes, loves acrobatics, and head-butted a referee in Africa Cup of Nations semi-final. Blundered against Slovenia.

Madjid Bougherra, right-back

Shifted from central defensive role at Rangers to right-back for Algeria. A leader, though not the most mobile.

Rafik Halliche, centre-half

Reads the game well but a bit short on pace – one of the reasons Jermain Defoe has been in contention. Delivered two of Algeria's best efforts on goal against Slovenia

Nadir Belhadj, left-back

One of the best players against Slovenia, operating on the overlap. Saadane sent him to a Qatar fitness clinic in his desperation to have the Portsmouth man fit.

Hassan Yebda, centre midfield

France junior international central midfielder who made his Algeria debut in September. Neat and tidy though not a dominant figure.

Medhi Lacen, centre midfield

A product of Saadane's Europe-wide search for new talent, who had never been to Algeria until picked for the national team. Neat, tidy and hard-working though should pose no threat.

Foued Kadir, right midfield

Hardworking and industrious player, though shouldn't threaten Glen Johnson down England's right. Operated on the right against Slovenia, although generally a central midfielder.

Rafik Djebbour, striker

Poor against Slovenia so he was substituted though his replacement, Siena's Abdelkader Ghezzal, was then sent off.

In association with The Scouting Network

Suggested Topics
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas