Algeria Names Squad for Nations Cup
Midfielder Sofiane Feghouli was a surprise omission as Algeria named their 23-man squad on Saturday for the African Nations Cup finals in Gabon.
Algeria, among the pre-tournament favourites, also left out Carl Medjani, who has been a consistent choice since his debut in 2010.
Feghouli had featured in just seven league games for his club West Ham United this season and had been subject of speculation over a move back to France.
The choices by Coach George Leekens came after just one match in charge for the veteran Belgian trainer, appointed only last month after Algeria’s poor start to the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.
He included uncapped 21-year old Rennes defender Ramy Bensebaini in his squad who will warm-up with two friendlies against Mauritania next week before heading to the tournament.
Algeria open their tournament against Zimbabwe in Franceville on Jan. 15 and also meet Tunisia and Senegal in Group B. Squad: Goalkeepers: Malik Asselah (JS Kabylie), Rais Mbolhi (Antalyaspor), Chemseddine Rahmani (MO Bejaia) Defenders: Hicham Belkaroui (Esperance), Mokhtar Belkhiter (Club Africain), Ramy Bensebaini (Stade Rennes) and Mohamed Benyahia (USM Alger).
Others are Liassine Cadamuro (Servette Geneva), Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli), Aissa Mandi (Real Betis), Mohamed Rabie Meftah (USM Alger), Djamel Mesbah (Crotone). Midfielders: Mehdi Abeid (Dijon), Nabil Bentaleb (Schalke 04), Yassine Brahimi (FC Porto) and Rachid Ghezzal (Olympique Lyonnais).
Still included are: Arlene Guedioura (Watford), Saphir Taider (Bologna) Forwards: Baghdad Bounedjah (Al Sadd), Sofiane Hanni (Anderlecht), Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani (both Leicester City) and El Arabi Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb).
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