We must beat Nigeria – Algeria coach

Pius Ayinor

Algeria coach, Rabah Madjer, has again underlined the fact that his team will play Friday’s World Cup 2018 qualifier with Nigeria with all seriousness required of a qualification game.

Madjer who spoke to the media ahead of the last Group B game in Constantine said Algeria will play to win despite already being out of the race to Russia. The match is scheduled to kick off Friday at about 8.15pm Nigerian time.

He said, “The match against Nigeria is not a friendly, to me this is the first match of the qualifiers for next year’s World Cup.

“Our team is in crisis, it has been a difficult period for the players and that is why we have to get back to winning matches immediately (defeating Nigeria).”

The former African player of the year picked Arsenal player, Alex Iwobi, as the star of the Super Eagles.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr will not only worry about Madjer’s remark but also injuries as he is in Algeria without six players who pulled out of the trip to North Africa due to injury.

Turkey-based midfielder Mikel Agu became the sixth player after Victor Moses, Ogenyi Onazi, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon and Elderson Echiejile pulled out of the game as well as a friendly against Argentina four days later.

“We have six injuries, so it means six changes at least in this game,” Rohr had said Wednesday.

“But we hope to do a good game. We play to make a good game with good result. It’s also an opportunity to see those players who did not play so much during the qualifiers.”

Rohr was surprised by what the Algerian coach about winning the game.

“They have changed coaches, they are yet to win at home (in the qualifiers), so they will be very aggressive, they have one of the best African players (Riyad) Mahrez and also (Islam) Slimani.

“It will be interesting to see how some of the players will do in our team.”