Algeria U23 – Nigeria U23 Preview: Make Or Break For Siasia’s Lads


Buoyed by an impressive victory over Mali, the Fennec Foxes are determined to prove their credentials again in their game against shaky Dream Team VI

Nigeria and Algeria will meet at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor, Dakar seeking place in the knockout stages of the African U23 Championship. Aside from earning their spot amongst the top four teams of the competition, Coaches Samson Siasia and Pierre André Schurman want to finish as Group B winners.

The Dream Team VI has been critiqued for their poor defence that has conceded four goals in two games – a feat that has left them in a precarious position. And a defeat against the Fennec Foxes plus a win for Egypt versus already eliminated Mali will see their Olympics qualification dream fade in thin air.

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The match between Algeria and Nigeria promises much. Intensity will be in abundance and the battle will be fierce. Siasia knows this is no time for favourites, but his reputation and that of his side are at stake.

Coach Siasia stressed after his side’s last match, that his side collapsed in the second half and will be very cautious against the dangerous Algeria.

“We tend to lose concentration in the second half and have to fix it. It was the case in the first game against Mali and the same thing happened against Egypt,” he said.

“It is no longer funny. It will be a tough battle against Algeria, and we have to be careful about the North African sides, they attack left and right.”

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Schurman appears ready to stick with a 4-4-2 formation and is expected to start with the same XI that defeated Mali on Wednesday as he prepares his team for greater challenges in the decisive rounds of the tournament.

The north Africans will have to overcome a battling Nigeria side, in the mix of elimination and qualification after a surprising draw against the Young Pharaohs despite going two goals up.

Should the game end in a draw, both teams move to the championship’s next stage provided Egypt did not defeat Mali by more than two-goal margin.

Algeria bowed 4-1 to Nigeria in the 2011 edition with Raheem Lawal netting a treble at the Stade de Marrakech, Morocco.

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