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Africa Cup of Nations 2019, Algeria vs Nigeria -  Predicted XI, Team News and More

ANALYST
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414   //    14 Jul 2019, 12:24 IST

Algeria will face their biggest challenge yet at the AFCON in Nigeria in the second semi-final
Algeria will face their biggest challenge yet at the AFCON in Nigeria in the second semi-final

Algeria, led by Djamel Belmadi who was appointed at the helm of the National Team just last August, have looked to be the best side at the Africa Cup of Nations so far.

They have been unbeaten in the tournament so far and have scored more goals than any of the remaining teams, while only conceding once, in their quarterfinal clash against Ivory Coast, that they won 4-3 on penalties after the score at regulation time remained 1-1.

Nigeria, on the other hand, have had a solid campaign themselves and it is no surprise to see them in the last four, given that they have made it to this stage on seven occasions since 2000.

In this clash of African heavyweights, both of whom are in top form, the stage is all set for a electrifying fixture in Cairo, the winner of which will take part in the title-decider against the winner of the first semi-final between Senegal and Tunisia.


Key Match facts

Algeria and Nigeria will face each other for the ninth time in the AFCON, becoming the most regular encounter in the competition for both teams. The record between them is perfectly balanced, with three wins apiece and two draws.

The Desert Foxes have not lost a game since Belmadi's appointment at the helm.

Nigeria's predominance over Algeria in past competitive fixtures is emphatic, with the Super Eagles winning seven of the last nine meetings between the two sides.


Team News

Nigeria's captain John Obi Mikel is expected to make a return to the side's starting XI after missing two games due to an injury sustained against Madagascar.

Other than that, Gernot Rohr is expected to make no changes to his side and keep his best XI the same in a bid for their first final since their title-winning campaign of 2013.

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There are no injury concerns for Algerian boss Belmadi and the fearsome midfield quartet of Mahrez, Ismael Bennacer, Sofiane Feghouli and Youcef Belaili will start as usual.

Former Premier League star Adlène Guedioura, who has been rock solid in the midfield, but is just one booking away from missing out on the final if the Desert Foxes make it through.

Injuries: Nigeria - None, Algeria - None

Suspensions: Nigeria - None, Algeria - None


Predicted XI

Nigeria rely heavily on their attackers, which include some of the well known names like - Arsenal's Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa and former Watford striker Odion Ighalo, all of them will start.

Goalscorer in the previous match, Samuel Chukwueze might have to settle for a place on the bench if Mikel starts.

Algeria have also relied a lot on their attacking department, with the likes of Belaili, Bennacer and Riyadh Mahrez all in good form.

Algeria predicted lineup: (4-1-4-1)

M'Bolhi; Bensebaini, Benlamri, Mandi, Attal; Guedioura; Belaili, Bennacer, Feghouli, Mahrez; Bounedjah

Nigeria predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1)

Akpeyi; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Aina; Ndidi, Mikel; Iwobi, Mikel, Musa; Ighalo

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