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banner Friday, 25 May, 2001, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
Algeria name depleted squad
djamel belmadi
Key striker Belmadi is a doubt after a long, hard season with Marseille
There are seven changes to Algeria's squad for next Friday's African Nations Cup qualifiers against Angola following the home loss to Morocco in the World Cup qualifying campaign earlier this month.

Algeria can make up for the disappointment of their World Cup failure by reaching next year's Nations Cup finals in Mali if they beat the Angolans in Annaba on June 1.

Coaches Hamid Zouba and Abdelhamid Kermali have made the sweeping changes as they seek a result and also to cover the real possibility that many of the country's European-based professionals might yet withdraw from the line-up before the game against 'Palancas Negras'.

Veteran captain Moussa Saib is back after injury
Brahim Ouahid of Mouloudia Alger is the only new call-up to the squad but veteran captain Moussa Saib returns after injury and there is also a return for French-based striker Farid Ghazi.

A total of 24 players are included for a week's training in Oran ahead of the match.

Already Mehdi Meniri (Troyes) and Maamar Mamouni of Le Havre have told officials they are unavailable because of injury and have sent the relevant medical documentation to the Algerian federation.

More withdrawals likely

The two coaches believe there might be more withdrawals, particularly after the long season in France, which has left several key players in urgent need of rest and recuperation.

There is uncertainty over the availability of Ghazi as well as Djamel Belmadi of Marseille and Montpiellier midfielder Omer Belbey.

  Group Four Table
1 Algeria P4 GD 6-4 Pts 8
2 B Faso P4 GD 3-3 Pts 7
3 Angola P4 GD 4-3 Pts 5
4 Burundi P4 GD 1-4 Pts 1

Veteran Ali Benarbia is also called up for the game in Annaba but has gone to Qatar to play for a month after the end of his contact with Paris St Germain and might wish to stay in the Middle East if he believes he will make his move from France to Nadi Essad permanent.

But Algeria will definitely be able to call upon long-standing international Abdelhafid Tasfaout of Guingamp, who has been the attacking linchpin for almost a decade now.

He has confirmed his presence at the training camp and for the match, officials said.

Goalkeepers: Merouane Abdouni (USM El Harrach), Hichem Mezair (USM Alger), Slimane Ould Mata (Chabab Belouizdad)
Defenders: Rabah Dogmani (USM Alger), Moulay Haddou (Mouloudia Oran), Samir Kherbouche (JSM Bejara), Fares Mekhalfi (Entente Setif), Kheirredine Madoui (Chabab Belouizdad), Slimane Raho (JS Kabylie), Mounir Zeghdoud (USM Alger)
Midfielders: Omar Belbey (Montpellier, France), Farouk Belkaid (JS Kabylie), Ali Benarbia (Nadi Essad, Qatar), Aziz Bendahmane (JS Kabylie), Yacine Bezzaz (CS Constantine), Brahim Ouahid (Mouloudia Alger), Moussa Saib (Auxerre), Mohamed Talis (Chabab Belouizdad)
Strikers: Djamel Belmadi (Marseille, France), Issaad Bourahli (Entente Setif), Fares Djabelkheir (USM Annaba), Farid Ghazi, Rafik Saifi (both Troyes, France), Abdelhafid Tasfaout (Guingamp, France)

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See also:

25 Mar 01 |  Cup of Nations
Cup of Nations round-up
24 May 01 |  Africa
Portuguese camp for Angola
19 May 01 |  Africa
Angola look to Mantorras
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