The build-up to the African Cup of Nations 2017 is gathering steam, and with practice friendlies already underway, many eyes are on the look out for leading contenders for the title. the Algerian national team, fondly known as Les Fennecs are definitely among them. They breezed through qualification with a squad filled to the brim with talent and fans’ expectations are at an all-time high since their only previous triumph in this tournament was in 1990.
Manager Georges Leekens will be looking to take the team all the way in his second spell in charge of the national team, after previously having resigned prior to the start of this tournament in 2004.
Here are five reasons the trophy could be going home with the Desert foxes this year.
#5 A familiar path to the semi-finals
Algeria have been drawn in group B with Senegal, Tunisia and Zimbabwe – a group they are expected to win. While Tunisia have been bogey opponents for Algeria in the recent past, coach Henryk Kasperczak practices a pragmatic approach playing with five defenders, meaning it could turn into a case of Algeria’s attack vs their defence – a dangerous game to play.
Senegal and Zimbabwe are expected to be beaten with the former having lost their last 3 meetings with Algeria and never having beaten them in the African Cup of Nations.
Progress as winners from this group means facing off against the runners up of group A, which includes hosts Gabon as a ‘pot 1’ team, meaning the only real threat comes from Cameroon who are likely to end up winners of their group. Algeria will expect to make it at least till the semi-finals.