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Algeria vs Nigeria: Team news, head to head & likely lineups

African Football By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 13/07/2019

Nigeria face Algeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals at Cairo International Stadium, hoping to draw level with Egypt and Ghana with the joint-highest appearances in the final of the competition.

The Desert Warriors have demonstrated signs of impressive resurgence in this tournament following a difficult couple of years during which they were knocked out in the group stages of the 2017 tournament and failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Algeria conceded their first goal of the tournament in the quarter-finals against Ivory Coast, proving to be a resilient outfit throughout the AFCON.

Super Eagles on the other hand, will consider reaching the semi-final to be a bare minimum requirement given their incredible heritage in AFCON by reaching the last four on seven occasions since 2000.

Nigeria, meanwhile, have sailed relatively smoothly to this stage, with a shock loss to minnows Madagascar in the group stage the only blip on their record.

Team News

Algeria right back Youcef Atal picked up a shoulder injury in their the quarter-final clash with Ivory Coast and is a doubt for the game. Mehdi Zeffane is expected to take his place.

Nigeria coach Genort Rohr is expected to remain unchanged, with Samuel Chukwueze likely to remain in the starting eleven, after scoring in the 2-1 quarter final victory over South Africa.

Head to Head

Nigeria's predominance over Algeria in past competitive fixtures is emphatic, with the Super Eagles winning seven of the last nine between the two sides.

That said, the Desert Foxes emerged victorious during their last meeting with Nigeria - a rare 3-0 win in World Cup qualifiers back in November 2017, which ended a 27-year winless streak against the West African side.

Their most recent meeting in the Africa Cup of Nations came during a third-place playoff in 2010, which Nigeria won 1-0.

Recent Form

Algeria have been dominant throughout this year's AFCON, scoring nine and conceding zero in their opening four games. 

Ivory Coast provided a sterner challenge in the quarter finals, although The Fennecs managed to find a way to go through, winning on penalties to show their resilience and mental toughness. 

Nigeria have been slightly less impressive, squeezing past Burundi and Guinea to qualify from the group mathematically and then losing 2-0 to Madagascar - perhaps taking their eye off the ball. 

However, a 3-2 and 2-1 wins against Cameroon and South Africa in the last 16 and quarter finals respectively, however, put the Super Eagles in good stead to challenge the Algerians. 

Algeria possible starting lineup​: M'bolhi; Zeffane, Mandi, Benlamri, Bensebaini; Mahrez, Guedioura, Bennacer, Feghouli; Belaili, Bounedjah. ​

Nigeria possible starting lineup​: Akpeyi; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Collins; Chukwueze, Etebo, Ndidi, Iwobi; Musa, Ighalo. ​

Predictions: Algeria 0-1 Nigeria
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