July 5, 2022

AFCON 2023: Uganda dares odds against Algeria

By Allan Damba
The Cranes pose for team photo before kick off against Rwanda in matchday four of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers at Kitende / FUFA Images

Uganda will be hoping to cause a major upset as they take on continental giants Algeria at the Stade du 5 Juillet on Saturday in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

While the Cranes failed to qualify for the preceding 2021 AFCON finals in Cameroon, the Desert Foxes qualified but only finished bottom of their group.

The latter then failed to secure a World Cup spot after losing to Cameroon in the playoffs in March.

That said, Algeria are two-time winners of the coveted Cup and have been present in the competition’s last five editions.

There have been 13 meetings between Algeria and Uganda. The hosts have won four of those games while the visitors have won one more, a huge boost for the Cranes.

There have been four draws between the two sides. Uganda’s head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic will be keen on taking advantage of the superior head to head.

“In the first two qualifiers away to Algeria and at home against Niger, we are looking at at least three points,” the Serbian spoke to the press on Wednesday.

“We are entering the game against Algeria with an intention and fully aware that chances are not lost but are always taken by those that are ready to work hard.”

“The team has experienced players and several youngsters which shows that there is a new chapter in the Uganda Cranes. We want to start in the best way possible and measure how far we have reached regards development,” added the tactician.

The two nations last faced off in a friendly clash back in 2003 which Algeria won 1-0.

Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez is the most notable absentee from the Algerian squad after being declared unfit to play.

Head coach Djamel Belmadi has named seven uncapped players in the squad, with multiple experienced players missing out including Baghdad Bounedjah.

Micho revealed forward Shaban Muhammad and left-back Isaac Muleme had suffered minor upsets, and, it remains to be seen if the two will be available on Saturday.

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