Algeria’s under-17 national team head coach, Arezki Remmane has declared that his team is ready to lift the Cup on home soil at the U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which kicks off this weekend, Soccernet.ng reports.
Despite Nigeria being record qualifiers, two-time continental cup winners, five-time world champions and the favourites to lift the trophy once again, coach Remmane insists his team is up to the task.
Algeria have been drawn in Group A with Congo, Senegal, and Somalia and will play the Somalians in their opening match on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.
Despite some mixed results in their preparation games, which included a 3-3 draw with Japan, a 3-2 win against Comoros, and a 2-2 draw with Mali, Remmane believes his team is fully prepared to compete with the best teams on the continent.
During a pre-match press conference, the tactician expressed his confidence in his team’s ability to shine on home soil.
“African football is constantly evolving. The teams present at this AFCON also know there is a World Cup ticket at stake, and it will make things really competitive. This will be like a mini World Cup. We are playing at home, and this will be a motivation for us,” he said.
Algeria’s opening match against Somalia is expected to be a colourful affair, with a vibrant opening ceremony preceding it at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.
With the tournament also serving as a qualifier for the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the stakes are high, and every team will be keen to put their best foot forward.
Eaglets going for gold
Meanwhile, Nigeria will target a record third continental title at the 2023 CAF U17 Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria.
The Golden Eaglets are the most successful team on the planet with five titles and are among the favourites to conquer Africa again.
Coached by the experienced Nduka Ugbade, the Golden Eaglets have been fantastic in their preparation, winning ten of their eleven friendly matches.
A former Nigeria international, Ugbade earlier declared that he had put together a team that would do Nigeria proud at the tournament.