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Last World Cup: Group Stage
Nickname: Fennecs/Greens
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic
Star man: Madjid Bougherra
Tournament best: Group stages 1982, 1986, 2010

Scraped through qualifying on away goals against Burkina Faso, who have never made it to a World Cup, and are likely to struggle in Brazil having had a poor showing at the African Nations Cup.

Strengths: Algeria are one of the better African sides at long-range deliveries, with more goals from long balls than any of the 32 finalists and the seventh greatest share from set pieces. Defensively they kept things tight early on during qualifiers and kept their opponents at a distance, conceding few close-range efforts. They were also a menace down the wings, particularly the right, and one of seven finalists to score in every qualifying match.

Weaknesses: However they exhibited a tendency to switch off when defending set pieces, particularly corners, and only four sides conceded a higher proportion of goals from headers. With nearly three quarters of the goals they conceded being crafted via the flanks, their full backs look to be an obvious weakness and are in danger of being found out in Brazil.

Prospects: Their preference for wide play gives them a fighting chance in Group H, with all three of their opponents among the seven most susceptible finalists to attacks down the flanks. Defending early goals is something else that all three have struggled with, with the Algerians one of the faster starters in qualifying. While Belgium's strengths from set pieces, the wings and the air look almost tailor-made to breach the Algerian defence, they certainly have the capacity to surprise in their other two fixtures.

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