Algeria vs Benin - Desert Foxes set for slim home win

North Africans to maintain unbeaten start to qualifiers
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Algeria can get qualification charge going with win over Benin (Getty Images)

Algeria vs Benin Match Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Algeria host Benin at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in their third Group D clash in the 2019 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers. The hosts have endured a torrid time in their recent fixtures but should have enough to claim the victory on Friday.

Algeria


The Desert Foxes were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Gambia in their previous fixture in the AFCON qualifiers. They took the lead right after the break through Baghdad Bounedjah but conceded two minutes later to settle for a point in Bakau.

The Algerians began their campaign in the qualifiers with a 1-0 victory over Togo and are currently top of the group with four points. The draw in Gambia was new manager Djamel Belmadi's first match in charge of the team and ended a run of four straight defeats for the North Africans.

Belmadi has handed recalls to Ishak Belfodil and Adam Ounas with both men last featuring for the national team in 2017. Riyad Mahrez is also included in the squad and should form a potent attack alongside Yacine Brahimi and Islam Slimani.

Newly appointed Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi will be looking for his first win in charge (Getty Images)

Benin


The Squirrels also played out a draw in their last outing as they were held goalless away at West African neighbours Togo. It was a drab contest with very few chances as the visitors could only muster one shot on target in 90 minutes.

Michel Dussuyer's team have made themselves difficult to beat as they have not tasted defeat in their last five matches. They also opened their qualifying campaign with a win and are currently level on points with Algeria at the top of the standings.

Huddersfield striker Steve Mounie is expected to lead the line for Benin on Friday, although the 24-year-old has only scored one goal in 10 appearances for the West African team. Captain Stephane Sessegnon has also struggled for goals in his recent appearances.

Benin could struggle as star man Steve Mounie has been in poor goalscoring form (Getty Images)

Head-to-Head 


There have been only four previous matches involving Algeria and Benin with the North Africans emerging victorious in all of them. They faced each other twice during the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup with Belmadi's team claiming a 3-1 victory in both fixtures.

Match-Up


Algeria will look to the likes of Mahrez, Slimani and Brahimi to provide the spark in attack. All three men posses lots of pace and trickery and should prove too strong for the likes of Khaled Adenon and Olivier Verdon in the Benin defence.

The hosts are not as tight as they would like to be at the other end of the pitch. However, the duo of Aissa Mandi, Ramy Bensebaini should do enough to shut out Mounie and Sessegnon.

Key Statistics


  • Algeria have won their last 8 home matches (AFCON Qualifiers).
  • Algeria have conceded at least 1 goal in 6 of their last 8 home matches (All Competitions).
  • Benin have lost their last 4 matches against Algeria (All Competitions).
  • Benin have scored at least 1 goal in 6 of their last 8 away matches (All Competitions).

Verdict


Algeria have an exciting forward line which should overwhelm Benin on Friday. They should claim a win at home but their shaky defence means they are unlikely to keep a clean sheet.

Best Bet: Algeria Win @ 1.54 - 4 Units
Value Bet: Both Teams to Score Yes @ 2.98 - 3 Units
Correct Score Bet: Algeria Win 2-1 @ 9.50 - 2 Units
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Eric Smith 12 October 2018

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