Algeria will be in search of their first victory at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations when they take on Equatorial Guinea at the Japoma Stadium on Sunday.
The Desert Warriors were left frustrated in their AFCON curtain-raiser against Sierra Leone which ended 0-0 on Tuesday.
The result left them with no option but to beat the Nzalang Nacional if they are to stand any chances of progressing to the knockout phase.
While the Algerians would have been disappointed not to have come out on top on Tuesday, it is now 35 games without defeat spanning over two years. They have only lost thrice in about four years.
They will fancy their chances against an Equatorial Guinea side who currently sit bottom in Group E heading into Sunday’s contest.
The latter suffered an agonising 1-0 defeat to the Elephants of Ivory Coast in the sides’ meeting on Wednesday.
Max Gradel gave the Ivorians the perfect start with a fifth-minute opener and Juan Micha’s men chased an equalizer, all to no avail for the remainder of the game.
Nzalang Nacional have made a far from ideal start to the group stage and it is now imperative that they avoid defeat on Sunday to give themselves a fighting chance heading into the final matchday.
The Central Africans take on Sierra Leone in round three which also sees Algeria and Ivory Coast face off in a heavyweight contest.
Algeria were guilty of being wasteful in the attack against Sierra Leone which could force Djamel Belmadi into making some alterations to his forward line.
Youcef Belaili shook off a knock in the first half to last the full 90 minutes in the aforementioned game but the winger could be dropped to the bench for this one.
On the other hand, Micha would have certainly liked what he saw against Ivory Coast and we expect him to name an unchanged team tomorrow.
Record goalscorer and skipper Emilio Nsue had a quiet day in front of goal last time out but remains his nation’s most dangerous weapon and is one to watch.