Preview: Algeria vs. Gambia – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s International Friendlies clash between Algeria and Gambia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fresh off the back of their triumph at the FIFA Arab Cup, Algeria face off against Gambia on Saturday in a warm-up fixture ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Both teams are in set to be in action at the tournament with Algeria seeking to make it back to back titles, while Gambia make their first ever appearance at this level.

Match preview

© Reuters

Algeria saw off the threat of arch-rivals Tunisia in a 2-0 victory two Saturdays ago to claim the sophomore edition of the Arab Cup in Qatar.

With the sides level at the end of the 90 minutes, the game went into extra time where Amir Sayoud and Yacine Brahimi struck in either half to settle a tight affair at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Djamel Belmadi‘s men are now unbeaten in 26 matches across all competitions since a 3-0 defeat to Morocco at the African Nations Championship back in 2019.

The Desert Foxes’ quest for more silverware continues in Cameroon but before then, they will be taking on an opposing side against whom they are unbeaten in the last five meetings between the teams.

Algeria begin their AFCON title defense with a clash versus Sierra Leone on January 11, while Gambia lock horns with Mauritania the following day.

Gambia were beaten for the fifth consecutive away game following a 2-0 defeat to New Zealand on November 16 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.

Strikes in either half from Chris Wood proved to be the difference as Tom Saintfiet‘s men went down without a whimper in the United Arab Emirates.

The Scorpions now turn their attention to next month’s continental showpiece where they set out to make a good impression on their maiden outing.

A victory this weekend would help set the tone for doing the aforementioned and the West Africans will be keen to come out on top in this one.

Algeria International Friendlies form:

Algeria form (all competitions):

Gambia International Friendlies form:

Team News

Algeria have named a full-strength squad for the Africa Cup of Nations including the likes Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez and West Ham’s Said Benrahma.

Rais Mbolhi secured the Golden Glove award at the recently concluded Arab Cup and is set to remain in goal as he closes in on 100 national team caps.

Midfielder Amir Sayoud was left out of the 28-man list despite his heroics last time out but he is expected to play some part on Saturday.

Assan Ceesay, who netted three times for Gambia in the qualifiers, headlines Tom Saintfiet’s final squad alongside record appearance maker Pa Modou Jagne.

Despite only making his debut in 2013, Ceesay has scored the most goals for his nation with 11 in his first 21 games and is one to keep an eye on.

Algeria possible starting lineup:
Mbolhi; Chetti, Bedrane, Benlamri, Tougai; Mrezigue, Bendebka, Brahimi; Meziani, Bounedjah, Sayoud

Gambia possible starting lineup:
Gaye; Touray, Colley, Gomez, Steve; Darboe, Bobb, Jallow; Barrow, Janko, Ceesay

SM words green background

We say: Algeria 2-0 Gambia

While they still await the arrival of several key players, Algeria still possess a plethora of talent in all areas of the pitch and we are tipping them to secure the victory in this one.

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