Friday Nov 20, 2020. 11:00
After securing qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations finals, Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has revealed that he plans to use their final two Group H next March matches to experiment.
The Fennec Foxes took four points off Zimbabwe in back-to-back matches in the past eight days, with a 3-1 home win and 2-2 away draw proving enough to mathematically clinch a place at Cameroon 2022.
Algeria have two matches remaining in their group, as they come up against Zambia (away) and Botswana (home), with Belmadi explaining that these games offer him a chance to look at new or returning players.
Qualifying two [match] days from the end has not happened to us for a long time. We are not going to be choosy. There are a lot of satisfactions,” Belmadi told Le Buteur.
He continued, “For the next meetings, I will give full matches to certain players, like Benrahma, Ounas, Zerkane, Boulaya and Belkabla. There, I hope the return of Boudaoui and Belaïli.
“I will put the latter back in the squad. We are also in the process of following players evolving in Portugal and in the Netherlands.”
Belmadi also bemoaned the lack of activity for international teams through 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was not easy to wait almost a whole year to see each other. It weighed heavily. But I think we are still on a good momentum,” said the Fennec Foxes boss.
“There are players who are not at their peak of form like Benlamri, there are others who have not been with us, such as Youcef Atal (tested positive for Covid-19) and Youcef Belaïli (lack of competition).
“I want to talk about the arrival of Réda Halaïmia who had good matches. Now we must continue to work to improve ourselves.”