Algeria have suffered a huge blow after a spate of withdrawals from their squad as the Fennec Foxes prepare to storm Nigeria for match day two of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Super Eagles will this weekend at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium take on Algeria with the aim of consolidating top spot in Group B.Nigeria defeated Zambia 2-1 away in Ndola while Algeria was held 1-1 at home by Cameroun, which means they can’t afford to drop any more points at this point.
Following the withdrawal of Adam Ounas, who was getting his first call up by Algeria following his international switch from France, the Fennec Foxes have been hit with yet another round of injuries to key players.
Dinamo Zagreb’s Soudani Al Hilal is the latest to withdraw from the squad as well as Montpellier’s Ryad Boudebouz who started the last game against Cameroon. Rachid Ghezzal will also miss the game in Uyo as new Algeria coach George Leekens tries to manage the situation.
The Belgian has handed late call-ups to Arsenal youngster Ismail Bennacer who has previously played for France at youth level, Yassine Benzia of Lille and Baghdad Bounedjah who plays in Qatar for Al Sadd Sports Club.
Nigeria will also do without first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme after the Wolves goalkeeper picked up an injury two weeks ago and won’t be fit for the game.
Algeria will fly to Nigeria on Thursday morning for the encounter and will hope to avoid defeat, which will further dent their hopes of reaching a second straight World Cup appearance.