Algeria and Russia square off for the first time ever, today, for a single slot in the Knockout Round of 16. Who will join the favorites, Belgium, as the second survivor and qualifier from Group H?
Algeria entered the tournament as one of Africa’s highest-ranked teams. However, their World Cup campaign opener with Belgium was in no way impressive as the game ended with a 2-1 loss for the Africans.
Nevertheless, Algeria redeemed itself in their second match, now against Korea Republic, where the game resulted in a win in favour of Algeria at 4-2. The nation proves itself as a real contender in the World Cup, with high chances of getting admitted in the next level.
Team coach Vahid Halihodzic also says that he does not have any record of injuries nor suspensions for the team, so that is an additional good news for the team. He is expected to line up his star player Sofiane Feghouli, last week’s scorer Islam Slimani, and midfielder Nabil Bentaleb.
On the other hand, Russia’s performance in the World Cup has been neither impressive nor spectacular. Their opener against Korea Republic had resulted in a 1-1 tie, and their previous match against Belgium concluded with a loss for Soviet Union at 1-0. Even with all these struggles, Russia still manage to stay alive for this tournament.
The Russians are now pressured for a win they desperately need. Aleksei Kozlov will also be absent for this upcoming match because of an injury. However, striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov will be more than hopeful to his record as Russia’s all-time top scorer for this match as he is just one goal away from it.