By Sedara Philip
Algeria have named experienced duo Sofiane Feghouli and Houssem Aouar in their squad for upcoming TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and a friendly against Senegal.
Midfielder Feghouli earns a recall after a year-long international absence since Algeria’s 2022 World Cup playoff loss to Cameroon.
The 33-year-old, now playing in Turkey with Fatih Karagumruk, brings creativity to the Algeria midfield having amassed 76 caps.
Aouar also returns despite limping off injured playing for club side AS Roma in Serie A on Friday night.
The midfielder suffered a muscle problem just 30 minutes into Roma’s clash with AC Milan, leaving his participation uncertain.
There is no place for striker Islam Slimani after his recent move to Brazilian club Coritiba due to match fitness concerns.
Youcef Belaili, Andy Delort and Nabil Bentaleb also miss out having only recently joined new clubs after periods of inactivity.
Star midfielder Ismael Bennacer remains sidelined long-term with injury.
Algeria have already qualified for next year’s TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations finals as they complete their qualifying campaign.
They host Tanzania on 7 September before a prestige friendly against Senegal four days later.
The squad will gather in Tunisia for the fixtures as coach Djamel Belmadi continues to evolve the side.
Feghouli’s return brings creativity and experience, while Aouar could yet bolster the midfield if he recovers from injury.
But fitness issues for key players demonstrates Belmadi’s limited options for this Fennecs squad.
He will hope for positive performances and no further injuries as Algeria build towards the 2023 AFCON where they will seek to make amends for a disastrous title defence earlier this year.