Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Prediction: Algeria vs Tunisia

Nemanja Lazarevic in Free Soccer Predictions 18 Jan 2017

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Verdict: Home win

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: William Hill

Having failed to enjoy a winning start to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, Algeria will be looking to make things right when they take on Tunisia in the second group game. The Carthage Eagles are in problems after the 2-0 loss to Senegal and they will be under pressure as another defeat would see them get eliminated from the tournament finals.

Algeria

Algeria national team haven’t enjoyed too much success since they started competing on the international stage, with the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations title won on home soil their only major coup up to date. However, many agree that this is by far the most talented generation in Les Fennecs history, with the likes of Mahrez, Slimani, Feghouli, Brahimi, Ghoulam and others already playing at the biggest stage. It was, therefore, no surprise that Algeria qualified for the 2017 AFCON in style, taking 16 points from 6 fixtures and scoring 25 goals in the process, but they couldn’t take that form into the tournament finals. While they took the lead through Riyad Mahrez, Les Fennecs eventually had to salvage one point against Zimbabwe, and they definitely need to show improvement in their second group game. Head coach Georges Leekens, who also enjoyed a spell in charge of Tunisia, is expected to make some changes to his starting line-up, with Lyon starlet Rachid Ghezzal and Dijon midfielder Mehdi Abeid expected to be drafted to the side. Meanwhile, Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez should again prove handful for opposition defenders.

Team News

Forward Hillel El Soudani will be left on the bench due to minor injury and poor form, with Rachid Ghezzal replacing him in the side.

Islam Slimani and Rais M’Bolhi complained about adductor and knee injuries respectively after the Zimbabwe clash, but they are both expected to start.

Tunisia

Tunisia have been on a major downtrend of late, but they managed to take advantage of a fairly easy group and qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals. The Carthage Eagles finished the campaign just two and three points clear of Togo and Liberia respectively, and it appears they lack the quality needed to reach the final stages of the showpiece tournament. Tunisia were pretty disappointing in warm-up games, losing to Basque Country and Egypt, while sharing spoils with Mauritania and defeating Uganda. And with key midfielder Wahbi Khazri picking up an ankle injury in the build-up, things did not look good for head coach Henryk Kasperczak and his men. As expected, the Carthage Eagles were pretty disappointing in their opening match, suffering a 2-0 loss to star-studded Senegal. Even though they seemingly dominated the encounter, Tunisia desperately lacked some cutting edge and that is likely to prove a problem when facing Algeria as well.

Team News

Wahbi Khazri should return to the starting line-up, replacing Larry Azouni, while there are no fresh injury worries for coach Henryk Kasperczak.

Key Factors to Consider

Tunisia won last two meetings with Algeria at AFCON Finals

A total of four goals were scored in their last three meetings

Tunisia failed to score in last two fixtures

Algeria bagged 25 goals in 6 AFCON qualifiers

Riyad Mahrez scored a brace in the 2-2 draw with Zimbabwe

Conclusion

Algeria may not have impressed in their opening fixture, but they’ve got plenty of room for improvement, unlike Tunisia, who clearly lack the quality to match the Desert Foxes. We are, therefore, backing Riyad Mahrez and co. to make a giant step towards the next stage.

Verdict: Home win

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nemanja Lazarevic


Working as editor-in-chief at Soccernews.com, Nemanja Lazarevic is responsible for organising and managing the team of writers to ensure the content produced on the site meets high industry standards and remains interesting to our readers. As our go-to guy for the football transfer news, he uses an extensive experience in the industry to dig up latest transfer stories from local sources.

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