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Algeria’s World Cup Preview: Roster Grades

Timgad ruins
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gabyu


The Keeper

Goalkeeper Lounes Gaouaoui should be the go to guy this summer, but Fawzi Chaouchi has been talked up recently and is giving the first string keeper a run for his money.  Either way Algeria does not have a very strong unit here and will likely need some freakish unexpected play in between the posts if they want to survive.  I wouldn’t bet on this happening, but you never know.

Grade: C-

The Defense

Antar Yahia is probably the best defender of the unit and he will likely be joined by Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra and Nadir Belhadj of Portsmouth.  No long time great player here, but plenty of guys with 40 plus international caps.  This is a decent unit all together.     

Grade: D

The Midfield

The midfield is definitely the strength of the squad and captain Yazid Mansouri of Lorient will be the man in the middle of the pitch dispersing the ball out wide to Karim Ziani and Mourad Meghni.  Zaoui is also not a bad player and should see regular minutes.  But these guys need to be the team leaders and push the ball up the field for the Algerians.

Grade: C

The Forwards

Striker Karim Matmour will likely retain his spot on the right wing and Ghezzal and Djebbour should see some time filling in as well.  Not too many great Algerian goal scorers though and that will likely hurt the squad by the end of the tournament unless somebody steps it up.  That is why we watch the Cup though.  Who will step up this tourney for Algeria? 

Grade: D


After decades away from the Cup it will be tough for Algeria to survive the first round of the event.  But if they can muster a draw against England or the US and beat Slovenia then anything is possible.  But I must admit that I think they will likely finish in fourth place in the group table this year with only a single point earned.  With limited Cup experience and a below average roster Algeria should have one of the worst results in the event.

Grade: C-