Saadane names initial squad

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Algeria coach Rabah Saadane sprang few surprises when naming his preliminary squad for the World Cup.

The 25-man squad was made up largely of those players who contested January’s African Nations Cup, where the Desert Hawks finished fourth. Fawzi Chouachi, Lounes Gaouaoui, Mohamed Zemmamouche and Abdelkader Laifaoui are the only squad members who play their club football in Algeria.

Seven players ply their trades in France, while four are based in Britain – Rangers’ Madjid Bougherra, Portsmouth duo Nadir Belhadj and Hassan Yebda, and Adlene Guedioura, who is currently on loan at Wolves from Belgian side Charleroi.

Algeria, who have reached the World Cup for the first time since 1986, will face England, United States and Slovenia in Group C in South Africa. They will hold a fortnight-long training camp in Switzerland from May 13 before contesting friendlies against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on May 28 and the United Arab Emirates in Nuremberg on June 5.

Saadane will be required to trim his squad to 23 players by June 1.

Preliminary Algeria squad: Fawzi Chouachi (ES Setif), Lounes Gaouaoui (ASO Chlef), Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche (MC Alger), M’bohi Rais Ouheb (Slavia Sofia); Abdelkader Laifaoui (ES Setif), Madjid Bougherra (Rangers), Carl Medjani (Ajaccio), Rafi Halliche (Nacional), Anther Yahia (Bochum), Haib Belaid (Boulogne), Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth), Djamel Mesbah (Lecce); Hassan Yebda (Portsmouth), Mehdi Lacen (Racing Santander), Yazid Mansouri (Lorient), Adlene Guedioura (Charleroi), Riad Boudebouz (Sochaux), Djamel Abdoun (Nantes), Fouad Kadir (Valenciennes), Mourad Meghni (Lazio), Karim Ziani (Wolfsburg), Karim Matmour (Borussia Monchengladbach); Abdelkader Ghezzal (Siena), Rafik Djebbour (AEK Athens), Rafik Saifi (Istres).

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