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Nickname: The Desert Foxes
Number of World Cup appearances: 2
Best World Cup finish: Group stage (1982, 1986)
Similar to Slovenia, Algeria found its ticket to South Africa after a very impressive play-off result against a big favorite. The Desert Foxes sent Egypt packing, besting them in Sudan, no less, and that result has to be considered a massive upset considering the Egyptians’ success throughout African football (Remember, this is an Egypt team that had just won January’s Africa Cup of Nations, their third straight title in the bi-annual tournament).
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One of the bigger underdogs in the entire field, Algeria hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since 1986, four years after their first ever appearance. But to this date, Algeria’s 1982 shocker in the group stage that saw them defeat West Germany is surely a moment to be recalled often this summer by the current team.
Surely that alone won’t be enough to advance the North Africans, but you have to give Algeria props for reaching the Finals if nothing else. Now trying to stir up some new magic will be the agenda against the likes of England and the United States.
2010 Algeria World Cup Odds
Algeria is currently listed at 250/1 to win the World Cup.
They are 16/1 to win Group C.
Key Player To Watch
It is safe to say there isn’t a known commodity in terms of individual talent on Algeria’s national team. Antar Yahia and Karim Ziani both scored three times during the qualifying process. However, their efforts will have to be raised exponentially in South Africa.
Best Team Asset
No one will see Algeria coming. If one team in this group will be swept under the rug, it will be the Foxes. And while South Africa might feel like it is much farther away than reality, Algeria is playing on continental soil. And if I have said it once, then it can’t be echoed enough: every African nation participating in the World Cup will be playing with an extra emphasis with this being the first ever tournament hosted in Africa. Added inspiration for sure.
Key Team Weakness
Algeria lacks firepower, and even more so the desired offensive attack than can withstand a goal or two allowed and still fire back like an England. So against a powerhouse attack like the English or facing one of the toughest goalkeepers in the world in the American Tim Howard, Algeria as a whole is the weak link in Group C.
Algeria World Cup Predictions
You never want to rule out a team, but Algeria won’t find success this summer. It will be three games and out, and even three losses isn’t out of the question. Even the third best team in the group, Slovenia, is much more talented.
Key First Round Match (best betting opportunity)
Bet the over when Algeria faces England on June 18. The English shouldn’t have a big issue netting goals in this one. And you also have to consider that the one weakness England has is their keeper, so a goal allowed by the favorites isn’t out of the question either. There will be a lot of goal scoring chances in this match.
Algeria World Cup Group Play Schedule
v. Slovenia, June 13, 2010 – 7:30 a.m. ET at Peter Mokaba (Polokwane)
v. England, June 18, 2010 – 2:30 p.m. ET at Green Point (Cape Town)
v. United States, June 23, 2010 – 10 a.m. ET at Loftus Versfeld (Tshwane/Pretoria)
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