Algeria coach George Leekens has named a provisional 18-man squad for this month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier away to Nigeria.
All but defender Hicham Belkaroui, who plays for Esperance in Tunisia, are based in Europe.
Established names aside, Leekens list will stir excitement in Algeria, and consternation in Nigeria for the invitation of Adam Ounas, the exciting 19 year old Bordeaux starlet who only recently committee his international future to Algeria after playing for the France under 20s.
Ounas is seen as one of the brightest young talents in world football and has Bene the subject of serious interest from Manchester United.
There is no place as yet for Standard Liege’s Ishak Belfodil or the Rennes duo of Mehdi Zeffane, and Ramy Bensebaini, although the latter is yet to be capped for the Fennecs despite having been called up for the last game against Cameroon.
But Leekens was quick to point out that the list is not final.
The coach said: “I’ll complete the list soon. There are a lot of players that I like that are not on this list.”
Algeria travel to play Nigeria on November 12 at the Godswil Akpabio Stadium, Uyo. The Super Eagles lead the group on 3 points, with the Fennecs trailing in joint second with one point after the opening round of matches.
GK: Rais M’Bolhi (Antalyaspor/TUR)
DEF: Hicham Belkaroui (Esperance/TUN), Liassime Cadamuro-Bentaiba (Servette/SWI), Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli/ITA), Mandi, Carl Medjani (Leganes/ESP))
MF: Adlene Guedioura (Watford/ENG) Mehdi Abeid (Dijon/FRA), Saphir Taider (Bologna/ITA), Bentaleb, Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto/POR), Ryad Boudebouz (Montpellier/FRA), Sofiane Feghouli (West Ham/ENG)
FW: Islam Slimani (Leicester/ENG), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester/ENG), Adam Ounas (Bordeaux/FRA), El Arabi Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb/CRO) Rachid Ghezzal (Lyon/FRA)
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