World Cup Team-by-Team Guide: Algeria up against it to qualify
Past Tournaments: 1982, 1986, 2010
Previous best: Group Stages 1982, 1986, 2010
How they got here:
Managed by experienced Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, Algeria comfortably won Group H in the second phase of African World Cup qualification, finishing seven points ahead of Mali. However, things got a touch squeakier when they were paired against 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finalists Burkina Faso in their two-legged play-off to make Brazil. The Fennec Foxes required away goals to see them through.
Star man: Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia)
Valencia’s second-highest assist maker this season is the definite showman of this outfit. The winger is quick and skilful and also has a wand of a right foot when it comes to set-piece delivery. He’ll be Algeria’s most creative spark.
Under the radar: Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon)
A compilation of some of ‘Super Slim’s’ best moments for Sporting this season
10 goals in only 19 caps for Slimani says all you need to know about this Sporting Lisbon striker. Having scored a boat load for two clubs in his native Algeria, Sporting had seen enough to sign the now 25-year-old last summer. The Algerian Player of the Year was used a little sparingly in Portugal but still scored eight times in 26 outings during 2013/14.
Team nutcase: Madjid Bougherra
During his time at Rangers, Algeria’s captain and centre-back forged a reputation as somewhat of a loose cannon. The former Charlton defender once received two yellow cards in the same minute against Motherwell and also received a straight red for an elbow in his last Old Firm encounter.
How far can they go?
Three previous World Cup finals have ended prematurely for the team currently ranked as the best Africa has to offer. Having been placed in Group H with Russia, South Korea and Belgium, things could have been worse for the underdogs. However, with a star-studded Belgium side likely to overpower them and Russia being guided by wily old fox Fabio Capello, this edition could easily go the same way.
To win the World Cup: 2000/1
Best Bet: Slimani top team goalscorer @ 4/1