Algeria AFCON 2023 Preview and Predicted XI: Riyad Mahrez looking to lead his nation to glory

Algeria are slightly going under the radar heading into AFCON 2023 but they were fantastic in qualifying winning five games and drawing just once to runners-up Tanzania, which has seen them become the fifth highest-ranked side in Africa according to FIFA. So they are full of confidence heading to the Ivory Coast, as reflected in our Algeria AFCON 2023 preview.

How did Algeria qualify for AFCON?

Algeria stormed through their qualifying group, which was relatively easy on paper with Tanzania, Uganda and Niger, none of whom are established footballing nations on the continent. They only conceded two goals in their six games while netting nine times which shows just how impressive they are at both ends of the pitch.

Algeria AFCON 2023 Preview

Who will Algeria play at AFCON 2023?

Algeria have been drawn into Group D and will be relatively okay with whom they have to come up against with Burkina Faso, Angola and Mauritania waiting for the African powerhouse in the Ivory Coast.

Burkina Faso stuttered to AFCON 2023 after a tough qualifying group stage. ©Nabil Ramadani/Sports Inc – Photo by Icon sport

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso were far from convincing in qualifying for AFCON 2023, but managed to get their business done finishing top of the group which has seen them jump up into the top 10 for all African nations heading into the tournament. They even scored more goals than a powerhouse nation such as Cameroon, so will be a threat going forward.

Mauritania

The fact that Mauritania have made it to an AFCON is a major achievement in itself because in 2012 they were the fourth worst team in the world according to FIFA but now find themselves above nations such as Togo and Zimbabwe. This will be their second time at an AFCON having qualified in 2019 but failed to win a single game, so will be hoping to improve that this time around.

Angola

Angola are indeed the lowest-ranked side in this group, despite having appeared at eight of the tournaments with their best performance coming in 2010 when they reached the quarter-finals as co-hosts of the competition. They qualified for the 2023 edition by the skin of their teeth finishing second in their group and just two points ahead of the Central African Republic, so there are no lofty expectations for Angola.

How far will Algeria go?

Algeria will be dreaming of going the whole way in the Ivory Coast come January, much like they did back in 2019 when they won every single group game and carried that momentum to the final. They are certainly one of the favourites to go far and we can see them reaching at least a semi-final, but be sure to keep checking out our free betting tips as AFCON 2023 approaches.

Algeria our tips in AFCON 2023 Group D winners prediction
Algeria boast one of the strongest squads at AFCON 2023. Photo by Icon sport

Algeria – Predicted AFCON 2023 XI

Goalkeeper

There is very little debate when it comes to the man between the sticks with Anthony Mandrea having started eight of Algeria's last 10 games keeping three clean sheets in this time and was a big part of their qualifying group for this tournament, so barring injury the Ligue 1 star will be the first name on the team sheet.

Defence

Algeria are spoilt for choice in the full-back area which makes them defensively solid but also dangerous going forward, but we believe it will be Rayan Ait-Nouri who will have hopefully recovered from injury in time. At the heart of the defence, the one nailed-on pick is veteran Aissa Mandi and alongside him, we believe it should be Ramy Bensebaini, despite putting in some questionable performances for Borrusia Dortmund.

Right-back is a star position for Algeria with long-time servant Youcef Atal who has 10 goal involvements in 34 appearances for his country, so there is no doubt he and Riyad Mahrez will be coming very well down the right.

Midfield

Algeria are spoilt for choice when it comes to their midfield department with high-profile names set to miss out on a string berth, but one player who won't be after his sensational string of performances this season is Ramiz Zerrouki having missed one of Algeira's last nine games.

Alongside him will be Houssem Aouar who is the star in the midfield having switched allegiances from France to Algeria his ability to finish from long range and thread the ball through is going to be so valuable, and the final man will be youngster Fares Chaibi who burst on the scene earlier this year now looks nailed to start.

Mahrez vs Somalia
Riyad Mahrez is set to be one of the players of the tournament. Photo by Icon sport

Attack

This front three for Algeria could be the best in the whole tournament. On the right, it's the captain and world-class winger Riyad Mahrez who has 70 goal involvements in 89 appearances for Algeria, which is quite insane but sums up the ability he possesses in that left foot specifically.

On the right is Premier League ace Said Benrahma, although seeing out 90 minutes will be rare having only done so four times since making his debut in 2015. They will be providing crosses and through balls for Islam Slimani, mainly because of his experience and the fact this is his seventh AFCON.


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Aaron Hindhaugh

Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.