Algiers - The shop window of English football has catapulted
three players into Algeria's 30-man provisional squad for the World Cup,
including Tottenham Hotspur teenager Nabil Bentaleb and uncapped Leicester
midfielder Riyad Mahrez.
Bentaleb, promoted up to Spurs' first team after Tim
Sherwood took over as manager at the start of the year, won his first cap for
Algeria in March after switching allegiance from his native France.
Coach Vahid Halilhodzic surprised by including uncapped
French-born Mahrez after he helped Leicester City to promotion to the Premier
League and recalled forward Rafik Djebbour, after his move to Nottingham Forest
"I only found out about Mahrez in February and went to
watch a few of his matches. He's an interesting player," Halilhodzic told
a news conference at the the Algerian Football Federation training centre on
Of Djebbour, who joined Forest from Greece, he added:
"His form has improved tremendously in recent times and he's an important
player for the spirit of the squad."
Striker Ishak Belfodil of Italian club Livorno is the only
major surprise of those left out. Disciplinary problems have marked his brief
international career, which began last August in a friendly against Guinea.
Algeria will take on Belgium, Russia and South Korea in
Group H at the Brazil finals which start next month.
Goalkeepers: Azzedine Doukha (USM El Harrach), Rais Mbolhi
(CSKA Sofia), Cedric Si Mohamed (CS Constantine), Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche
Defenders: Essaid Belkalem (Watford), Madjid Bougherra (Al
Lekhwiya), Liassine Cadamuro (Mallorca), Faouzi Ghoulam (Naples), Rafik
Halliche (Academica Coimbra), Nacereddine Khoualed (USM Alger), Aissa Mandi
(Stade Reims), Carl Medjani (Valenciennes), Djamel Mesbah (Livorno), Mehdi
Midfielders: Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryad
Boudebouz (Bastia), Yacine Brahimi (Granada), Abdelmoumene Djabou (Club
Africain), Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), Adlene Guedioura (Crystal Palace),
Foued Kadir (Stade Rennes), Amir Karaoui (Entente Setif), Mehdi Lacen (Getafe),
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Saphir Taider (Inter Milan), Hassan Yebda
Forwards: Rafik Djebbour (Nottingham Forest), Nabil Ghilas
(Porto), Islam Slimani (Sporting), El Arabi Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb).
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