Algeria – World Cup 2014 – Betting
Manager: Vahid Halilhodzic
Captain: Madjid Bougherra
FIFA World Ranking: 27
World Cup Appearances: 3
Best World Cup: Round 1 – 1982, 1986, 2010
Algeria Team Profile
The Algerians responded relatively well after struggling through the 2010 World Cup and casting big doubts over themselves by having a poor run at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. They managed to get through to the play-off round in the CAF qualification zone, but had their struggles against Africa Cup of Nations runners-up Burkina Faso. After losing the first leg 3-2, an intervention from captain Madjid Bougherra in a 1-0 win in the second leg was enough to send them to Brazil on an away goal rule. The Algerians have never made it past the first round, and they picked up just the one point four years ago in their group alongside England, the USA and Slovenia in 2010. Perhaps they will be a little better prepared this time around, but they go as one of the rank outsiders and points are going to be hard to come by again.
The 61 year old Bosnian was installed as Algeria manager back in 2011, charged with getting them to the 2014 World Cup. Mission achieved. He has experience of World Cup coaching, as he was at the head of the Ivory Coast’s 2010 challenge in South Africa. After going two years unbeaten through qualification, Les Elephants failed to impressed in a tough group alongside Brazil and Portugal and were eliminated at the group stage. At the close of 2013, Halilhodzic had posted a 60% win percentage in his time with Algeria, from 23 international matches played. A former international player with Bosnia, he has had a long managerial career around the globe, including a couple of years at Paris St Germain. Algeria is his second international job.
Algeria Key Players
The problem ahead facing Algeria is that they are not a particularly experienced side. They are young and ambitious yes, but handling the step up in class required for the 2014 World Cup is a big task for them. The keys to their success is going to be all about keeping things tight at the back, with veteran captain Madjid Bougherra organising his troops. How tall he stands is likely to be the difference between Algeria scrapping for points in their group against attacking sides Belgium, Russia and South Korea and seeing them get brushed aside. They really rely on their captain. There isn’t a lot of strength going forward but Islam Slimani, who plays for Sporting Lisbon looks a solid talent up front and was inspiring during qualification. Along with El Arbi Hillel Soudani, they can produce goals, but are no-where near adventurous to go and actually do so.
Nickname: Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes)
They have a spattering of players who play across Europe and that is always a good sign for a side. Picking a strength for Algeria is a little hard, and it will all probably boil down to organisation. There isn’t the fluency in transition from midfield to attack to really threaten the other sides in their group you would think, so they will have to rely on their strengths at the back and take their chances from set plays. The more that they can get youngster Sofiane Feghouli on the ball, the more chance they have of things happening going forward as he is an exciting talent and a big asset and driving force from the centre of the park.
Two big areas of weakness for Algeria, is the relative youthfulness of their current squad and the fact that the depth of the squad isn’t great. You can’t imagine for a moment that Algeria are going to come out and try to stand toe to toe with the likes of Russia and Belgium, so they will take a conservative approach to their group games and hope to do smash and grab raids. They’ll be pushed back and nullified as an attacking threat. Unfortunately, they aren’t particularly strong at the back either and most likely they are not going to be able to live with the pace that is going to great thrown at them. They aren’t going to get enough possession in games to pose much of a threat.
Algeria Qualification for the World Cup
Goals Scored: 13
Goals Conceded: 4
Play-Off Qualification: 3-3 v Burkina Faso (Algeria won on away goal rule)
World Cup Potential: 1/5
It doesn’t look very likely that Algeria will be playing any knockout stage football at the 2014 World Cup. They face a tough group and have neither the firepower nor the defensive strengths to stand up to quality sides like Belgium and Russia. Nothing too much to inspire a lot of backing in your World Cup betting. They weren’t totally convincing through qualifying and this is a whole other level for them to try and deal with.
Algeria World Cup Betting Odds
Algeria to win the World Cup: 1500/1 PaddyPower
Before the World Cup the odds on Algeria were 1500/1
Algeria World Cup 2014 Fixtures – Group H
|Tu 17th June||17.00||Belgium v Algeria||2:1|
|Tu 17th June||23.00||Russia v South Korea||1:1|
|Su 22nd June||17.00||Belgium v Russia||1:0|
|Su 22nd June||20.00||South Korea v Algeria||2:4|
|Th 26th June||21.00||South Korea v Belgium||0:1|
|Th 26th June||21.00||Algeria v Russia||1:1|
World Cup 2014 Group H Table