By James Agberebi:
Legendary Algeria midfielder Lakhdar Belloumi has tipped the Fennecs to defeat Nigeria in next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo.
Algeria go into the match seeking for their first win of the group after drawing at home against Cameroon.
Belloumi, who helped Algeria qualify for their first World Cup in Spain 1982 at the expense of Nigeria, posited that Algeria’s previous experience should give them the edge.
“Algeria have a great footballing history,” Belloumi told FIFA.com.
“We’ve defeated Nigeria more than once. We beat them on their own patch in 1981 and in Libya in 1982. My message to Riyad Mahrez and Co, therefore, is that winning on 12 November is certainly not impossible. On the contrary, I believe the Nigerians will be the ones under pressure as they’re at home and playing in front of their own fans.
“I watched their game against Zambia. They’re not a daunting or unbeatable team, by any means. Our team is very strong. For me, the draw against Cameroon was just a misstep. And we mustn’t forget that Cameroon have a great team and a long World Cup history, and that we’ve never beaten them in an official match. Let’s put that slip-up behind us and concentrate on picking up three points in Nigeria.
“We will win if we impose our style of play. Our team is powerful and united, and with a little bit of desire and heart, we can return home with three points in the bag.”
The 1982 and 1986 World Cup star said then relived how Algeria stopped Nigeria from qualifying for the 1982 World Cup
He added: “I was in the form of my life against Nigeria away, scoring one and setting up another.
“I scored again in Constantine and passed the ball to Rabah Madjer, who grabbed the second goal. With the help of my team-mates, I had a big influence on those two games. I also remember that I was the top scorer overall, getting 6 of our 16 goals.”