AFCON 2021 Preview: Algeria

The 2019 AFCON Champions Algeria are one of the favorites to lift the trophy in 2021. The North African side won the Arab Cup recently and have progressed to the last 10 of the World Cup qualifiers. A team filled with stars and young prospects; Algeria will not be an easy outfit for anyone they face. Ahead of the tournament in Cameroon, we at Soccer Ethiopia spoke to Algerian football journalist Walid Ziani.

– Will anything other than a trophy be a disappointment for Algeria? What are you expecting from them?

No, although we are favorites and would love to repeat as champions, I think the ultimate objective of the coach and the players is to qualify for the World Cup. I’m sure they will give it their all during this African Cup but if they don’t win, I don’t think it will be considered a disappointment. With that being said, anything less than a quarter-final appearance will be a disappointment.

– Tell us about the coach and playing style.

Djamel Belmadi took over as Algeria coach in mid-2018 and has completely transformed the Algeria national team. He led Algeria to the 2019 Africa Cup title and is currently on a 33-match unbeaten streak. Although he’s a strict disciplinarian on and off the pitch, he has a special bond with his players and has been able to bring the most out of them.

The playing style has not changed much since he has taken over. His preferred formation is a 4-3-2-1 with 1 defensive midfielder, 2 central midfielders, 2 wingers, and a striker. He’s also played with a 4-4-2 with 2 strikers depending on the opponent and players available. He’s a very pragmatic coach but also very demanding tactically from his players, including his stars like Riyad Mahrez.

– Who are you expecting to shine for Algeria in this tournament? Is anyone other than Mahrez?

Youcef Belaili was one of Algeria’s most influential players in the 2019 African Cup and I tip him to do the same again this time around. Among the new players, look out for Ramiz Zerrouki and Adem Zorgane, 2 younger central midfielders who can be breakout players during this tournament.

– Which team do you think will be the toughest competitor?

Our 3rd group stage match against Ivory Coast will be a very tough test. We beat them in the QFs in 2019 and the Elephants will be very hungry to get their revenge, especially since they were eliminated from the World Cup qualifiers. 2019 finalists Senegal will also be one of the favorites to lift the title, and you can never count out the hosts Cameroon and giants Nigeria.

– Also, what areas of the team are of concern to you and most Algerians.

Despite our recent success, there’s still a lot of question marks about the team after some underwhelming performances in recent games, namely the 2 draws against Burkina Faso. From the back to the front, goalkeeping, defense, defensive midfield, and striker(s). There’s a lot of questions going into AFCON.

Betking EthPL

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Round 1
30 Sep 2022 13:00
WOLKITE
1
0
AMK
30 Sep 2022 16:00
BAHIRDAR
2
1
ELCETRIC
1 Oct 2022 13:00
MEDIN
1
7
GIORGIS
1 Oct 2022 16:00
DIRE
2
2
SIDAMA
2 Oct 2022 13:00
DICHA
0
0
BUNNA
2 Oct 2022 16:00
HAWASSA
1
2
TAFO
3 Oct 2022 13:00
FASIL
2
1
ADAMA
3 Oct 2022 16:00
MECHAL
1
0
HOSSANA
Round 2
5 Oct 2022 13:00
BAHIRDAR
0
1
WOLKITE
5 Oct 2022 16:00
AMK
3
4
MEDIN
6 Oct 2022 13:00
ELCETRIC
0
1
GIORGIS
6 Oct 2022 16:00
TAFO
1
1
DIRE
7 Oct 2022 13:00
HOSSANA
4
1
SIDAMA
7 Oct 2022 16:00
ADAMA
2
0
MECHAL
10 Oct 2022 16:00
BUNNA
1
2
HAWASSA
4 Dec 2022 16:00
DICHA
1
0
FASIL
Round 3
12 Oct 2022 16:00
MECHAL
1
2
AMK
13 Oct 2022 13:00
DICHA
1
1
ELCETRIC
13 Oct 2022 16:00
SIDAMA
1
5
GIORGIS
14 Oct 2022 13:00
MEDIN
4
1
TAFO
14 Oct 2022 16:00
HAWASSA
0
1
ADAMA
15 Oct 2022 13:00
DIRE
1
3
HOSSANA
15 Oct 2022 16:00
WOLKITE
0
1
BUNNA
29 Oct 2022 16:00
FASIL
0
0
BAHIRDAR
Round 4
18 Oct 2022 13:00
ADAMA
1
2
GIORGIS
18 Oct 2022 16:00
WOLKITE
3
4
HAWASSA
19 Oct 2022 13:00
AMK
0
0
HOSSANA
19 Oct 2022 16:00
BAHIRDAR
1
1
DIRE
20 Oct 2022 13:00
BUNNA
1
0
SIDAMA
20 Oct 2022 16:00
ELCETRIC
3
0
TAFO
21 Oct 2022 13:00
FASIL
0
1
MECHAL
21 Oct 2022 16:00
DICHA
0
1
MEDIN
Round 5
24 Oct 2022 13:00
HAWASSA
2
2
DIRE
24 Oct 2022 16:00
ELCETRIC
2
2
ADAMA
25 Oct 2022 13:00
WOLKITE
0
1
SIDAMA
25 Oct 2022 16:00
FASIL
1
0
GIORGIS
26 Oct 2022 13:00
BAHIRDAR
2
0
TAFO
26 Oct 2022 16:00
MECHAL
1
2
MEDIN
27 Oct 2022 13:00
DICHA
0
1
HOSSANA
27 Oct 2022 16:00
BUNNA
2
0
AMK
Round 6
4 Nov 2022 16:00
MEDIN
2
3
BAHIRDAR
4 Nov 2022 19:00
DIRE
3
1
BUNNA
5 Nov 2022 16:00
MECHAL
0
1
DICHA
5 Nov 2022 19:00
WOLKITE
2
1
ELCETRIC
6 Nov 2022 16:00
HAWASSA
2
0
FASIL
6 Nov 2022 19:00
GIORGIS
1
1
AMK
7 Nov 2022 16:00
SIDAMA
2
0
ADAMA
7 Nov 2022 19:00
HOSSANA
1
0
TAFO
Round 7
10 Nov 2022 16:00
GIORGIS
2
2
WOLKITE
10 Nov 2022 19:00
DIRE
1
1
MECHAL
11 Nov 2022 16:00
MEDIN
2
0
ELCETRIC
11 Nov 2022 19:00
SIDAMA
0
1
HAWASSA
12 Nov 2022 16:00
AMK
-
-
BAHIRDAR
12 Nov 2022 19:00
HOSSANA
-
-
FASIL
13 Nov 2022 16:00
ADAMA
-
-
BUNNA
13 Nov 2022 19:00
TAFO
-
-
DICHA
Round 8
16 Nov 2022 16:00
HOSSANA
2
2
HAWASSA
16 Nov 2022 19:00
SIDAMA
0
4
MEDIN
17 Nov 2022 16:00
ADAMA
1
2
DICHA
17 Nov 2022 19:00
GIORGIS
0
0
MECHAL
18 Nov 2022 16:00
BUNNA
1
3
BAHIRDAR
18 Nov 2022 19:00
DIRE
2
1
ELCETRIC
19 Nov 2022 16:00
AMK
1
1
FASIL
19 Nov 2022 19:00
TAFO
0
3
WOLKITE
Round 9
22 Nov 2022 16:00
MECHAL
0
2
SIDAMA
22 Nov 2022 19:00
HAWASSA
0
3
GIORGIS
23 Nov 2022 16:00
MEDIN
1
3
DIRE
23 Nov 2022 19:00
ELCETRIC
2
4
BUNNA
24 Nov 2022 16:00
WOLKITE
0
0
HOSSANA
24 Nov 2022 19:00
DICHA
0
0
AMK
25 Nov 2022 16:00
FASIL
3
0
TAFO
25 Nov 2022 19:00
BAHIRDAR
1
0
ADAMA
Round 10
28 Nov 2022 16:00
MECHAL
1
1
ELCETRIC
28 Nov 2022 19:00
MEDIN
0
0
HAWASSA
29 Nov 2022 16:00
DIRE
2
2
WOLKITE
29 Nov 2022 19:00
SIDAMA
2
4
FASIL
30 Nov 2022 16:00
GIORGIS
3
0
DICHA
30 Nov 2022 19:00
HOSSANA
0
2
BAHIRDAR
1 Dec 2022 16:00
TAFO
2
2
BUNNA
1 Dec 2022 19:00
AMK
1
0
ADAMA
Round 11
6 Dec 2022 16:00
ADAMA
3
0
TAFO
6 Dec 2022 19:00
BAHIRDAR
0
0
GIORGIS
7 Dec 2022 16:00
ELCETRIC
2
2
AMK
7 Dec 2022 19:00
HAWASSA
0
2
MECHAL
8 Dec 2022 16:00
BUNNA
0
1
HOSSANA
8 Dec 2022 19:00
WOLKITE
1
2
MEDIN
10 Dec 2022 16:00
DICHA
-
-
SIDAMA
Postponed
10 Dec 2022 19:00
FASIL
-
-
DIRE
Round 12
10 Dec 2022 14:00
MECHAL
-
-
WOLKITE
10 Dec 2022 18:00
HOSSANA
-
-
ADAMA
11 Dec 2022 15:00
DIRE
-
-
DICHA
11 Dec 2022 18:00
SIDAMA
-
-
BAHIRDAR
12 Dec 2022 15:00
HAWASSA
-
-
ELCETRIC
12 Dec 2022 18:00
GIORGIS
-
-
BUNNA
13 Dec 2022 15:00
MEDIN
-
-
FASIL
13 Dec 2022 18:00
TAFO
-
-
AMK
Round 13
16 Dec 2022 15:00
BAHIRDAR
-
-
MECHAL
16 Dec 2022 18:00
ELCETRIC
-
-
HOSSANA
17 Dec 2022 15:00
FASIL
-
-
WOLKITE
17 Dec 2022 18:00
BUNNA
-
-
MEDIN
18 Dec 2022 15:00
ADAMA
-
-
DIRE
18 Dec 2022 18:00
DICHA
-
-
HAWASSA
19 Dec 2022 15:00
TAFO
-
-
GIORGIS
19 Dec 2022 18:00
AMK
-
-
SIDAMA
Round 14
22 Dec 2022 15:00
MECHAL
-
-
BUNNA
22 Dec 2022 18:00
FASIL
-
-
ELCETRIC
23 Dec 2022 15:00
HAWASSA
-
-
BAHIRDAR
23 Dec 2022 18:00
GIORGIS
-
-
HOSSANA
24 Dec 2022 15:00
MEDIN
-
-
ADAMA
24 Dec 2022 18:00
WOLKITE
-
-
DICHA
25 Dec 2022 15:00
SIDAMA
-
-
TAFO
25 Dec 2022 18:00
DIRE
-
-
AMK
Round 15
28 Dec 2022 15:00
HOSSANA
-
-
MEDIN
28 Dec 2022 18:00
BUNNA
-
-
FASIL
29 Dec 2022 15:00
AMK
-
-
HAWASSA
29 Dec 2022 18:00
TAFO
-
-
MECHAL
30 Dec 2022 15:00
GIORGIS
-
-
DIRE
30 Dec 2022 18:00
BAHIRDAR
-
-
DICHA
31 Dec 2022 15:00
ELCETRIC
-
-
SIDAMA
31 Dec 2022 18:00
ADAMA
-
-
WOLKITE

Standing Table

#
Player
Played
Goals
1
Kidus Giorgis
11
11
2
Wolkite Ketema
11
10
3
Fasil Kenema
9
6
4
Hawassa Ketema
9
5
5
Diredawa Ketema
9
5
6
Diredawa Ketema
10
5
7
Ethiopia Medin
9
4
8
Bahir Dar Ketema
10
4
9
Adama Ketema
10
4
10
Sidama Bunna
10
4

Competitions

competition logo
Ethiopian Higher League
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Ethiopian League 1
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Ethiopian Women's Higher League
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Ethiopian Womens Premier League
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