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Algeria vs Botswana prediction, preview, team news and more | 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Algeria are looking to finish their qualifying campaign with a win against Botswana
Algeria are looking to finish their qualifying campaign with a win against Botswana
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 28 Mar 2021
Preview

Algeria close out their qualifying campaign for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations against Botswana at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium on Monday.

The reigning champions have already booked their place at next year's finals while the Zebras are eliminated from the race.

However, Djamel Belmadi's side will be looking to finish as the winners of Group H. They are three points clear of second-placed Zimbabwe and unbeaten in the campaign so far.

The Desert Warriors won each of their opening three games to become one of the first sides to qualify for the Cameroon showpiece. But since then, it's been a rocky road for them.

They were held to a 2-2 draw by Zimbabwe on matchday four, and earlier this week, played out a pulsating 3-3 stalemate to lowly Zambia.

One thing going for Algeria though, is that they're one of the 10 sides still unbeaten going into the final matchday. They will aim to wrap up the qualifiers on a resounding note.

Botswana's first and only appearance at the AFCON came in 2012. They will need to wait for their return to the top continental stage as last week's 1-0 defeat to Zimbabwe ended their qualifying hopes.

The Dipitse will hope to avoid finishing last in the group, as they're currently third and sit above Zambia courtesy of a better head-to-head record.


Algeria vs Botswana Head-To-Head

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Algeria and Botswana had never met before these World Cup qualifiers. Their first meeting, coming in November 2019, ended in a 1-0 victory for the current AFCON champions in Botswana.

Algeria Form Guide (all competitions): W-D-W-D-D

Botswana Form Guide (all competitions): D-L-L-W-L


Algeria vs Botswana Team News

Algeria

Rachid Ghezzal, on target in the last match against Zambia, went off injured at halftime. The coach has reassured fans that his knock is not serious, but Ghezzal may still be rested for this game.

A lot of changes are expected in the Algerian XI against Botswana. Key players Riyad Mahrez, Ramsy Bensebaini, Aissa Mendi, Said Benrahma, Sofiane Feghouli and Ismael Bennacer are likely to start.

Mehdi Abeid, who started against Zimbabwe, has returned to his club Al Nasr in the UAE.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Doubtful: Rachid Ghezzal

Unavailable: Mehdi Abeid

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Botswana

There's little at stake for the Zebras besides pride and a third-place finish in this match. As such, manager Adel Amrouche might be open to a few changes in his XI from the one which lost to Zimbabwe.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None


Algeria vs Botswana Predicted XI

Algeria (4-2-3-1): Rais M'Bolhi; Houcine Benyada, Mehdi Tahrat, Djamel Benlamri, Ayoub Abdellaoui; Adlene Guedioura, Ismael Bennacer; Riyad Mahrez, Sofiane Feghouli, Yacine Brahimi; Baghdad Bounedjah.

Botswana (4-5-1): Kabelo Dambe; Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Tshepo Maikano, Simisane Mathumo, Fortunate Thulare; Gape Gaogangwe, Kobamelo Kebaikanye, Kutlwelo Mpolokang, Tlhalefo Molebatsi, Thero Setsile; Onkabetse Makgantai.


Algeria vs Botswana Prediction

The Desert Warriors are unbeaten in 17 games and Botswana, in their current form at least, don't seem capable of stopping that run.

Prediction: Algeria 2-1 Botswana

Published 28 Mar 2021, 01:31 IST
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