Algeria hire boffins for lowdown on opponents

ALGIERS - Algeria plan to use expatriate technology boffins to give them the lowdown on their opponents at this year's World Cup finals in South Africa.

Coach Rabah Saadane cannot attend all the pre-tournament games of Group C rivals England, the United States and Slovenia so he will rely on reruns of the matches with special software breakdowns, he told a news conference on Tuesday.

"To learn more about our rivals, we have consulted Algerian specialists outside of Algeria who have sophisticated software to do summaries about their strengths and weaknesses," he said.

"When I arrive at (Swiss base) Crans Montana, I will work on it because until now I have a lot of work and I didn't have the time to do it."

This is the third time Algeria have qualified for the finals but their previous appearances in 1982 and 1986 resulted in first-round elimination.

Saadane conceded he had no idea what his starting 11 would be for the opening game against Slovenia on June 13.

"Friendlies against Ireland and the United Arab Emirates are 'test' matches," he said referring to planned warm-up games in Dublin on May 28 and on June 5 in Nuremberg respectively.

"The results are not important to me. I will not be playing for the results but to note the level of my team's attacking and defending," he added.

Saadane has one other priority.

"The Algerian team was absent from the finals for 24 years. I think the most important thing is that Algeria will come back on the international stage with dignity and put on an honourable performance.

"We must represent with dignity not only Algerian soccer but also African and Arabic soccer. I will insist on that with my players," he said.

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