World Cup Preview, Group H: Algeria
Continuing our World Cup previews, we look at the African nation in Group H, Algeria.
Valencia midfielder Sofiane Feghouli looks like he'll be the main man for Algeria at this World Cup. The former French youth international has been in great form for the La Liga side this season and has already clocked up five goals in just 19 appearances for the national side. Twice voted Algerian player of the year, the African nation will be looking to him to provide class and goals in Brazil.
Tottenham introduced a relatively unknown Algerian player in the latter stages of the last Premier League season by the name of Nabil Bentaleb. He immediately impressed in the Spurs midfield with his presence, movement and eye for a killer pass. Technically gifted and with a great engine, he is already attracting the attention of clubs like Manchester United and could be wanted by a lot more if he has a good World Cup.
Did you know?
Algeria's Bosnian manager, Vahid Halilhodžić is a Knight of the Légion d'Honneur of the French Republic.
Reasons for Irish fans to support them
In a group containing Belgium, Russia and South Korea, the Algerians will be rank outsiders to qualify and we Irish love a good underdog. No better reason than that.
If they were a TV series
They'd be Homeland. Aside from the Arab connection, Algeria are a team who perform best at home. They have only once won the African Cup of Nations and that was back in 1990 when it was held in Algeria.
They are in a tough group and with their opening match against group favourites, Belgium, it's hard to see them qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition. They qualified for the tournament following a controversial and hard fought win over Burkino Faso in an African qualifier.
You have to think that their three opponents in Group H will be much stiffer propositions than Burkino Faso and for that reason we are predicting an early elimination in the group stages for the North African country.
Ladbrokes Betting Odds: 2000/1