Opponent watch: Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff confirms Belkalem and Abeid are out of AFCON

Algeria’s coach Christian Gourcuff confirmed that centre-back Essaïd Belkalem and midfielder Mehdi Abeid have been ruled out for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations with injury and replaced by Osasuna’s defender Liassine Cadamuro and FC Metz’s midfielder Ahmed Kashi.

“Belkalem and Abeid are officially ruled out of the AFCON. And to replace them we called up Cadamuro and Kashi,” Gourcuff said at a press conference on Sunday.

“Belkalem had recovered from an injury but ultimately relapsed. With a muscle tear that requires days of rest, it was not possible to take the player to the AFCON finals.

“I had a back-up list of 7 players, and the only option in that case was to call-up Liassine Cadamuro.

“The second player who has been dropped from the final list for AFCON is Mehdi Abeid. He sustained an injury that will not allow him to be part of the group in Equatorial Guinea. So I took the decision to replace him.

“I chose Ahmed Kashi to replace Mehdi Abeid.”
Algeria will kick off their 2015 AFCON campaign in Equatorial Guinea against South Africa in Mongomo on January 19, before facing their other Group C opponents Ghana and Senegal.

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