Bougherra targets knockouts for Algeria

Madjid Bougherra believes Algeria can approach the FIFA World Cup without fear as they bid to reach the second round for the first time.

As Algeria prepare for their fourth finals appearance, the north African nation aim to make history and progress beyond the group stage.

Algeria have failed to win a World Cup game since their controversial exit at Spain 1982, when West Germany beat Austria in a mutually beneficial 1-0 scoreline. 

And those previous failings mean that the aim is clear for Bougherra and his team-mates this time around.

"The objective is simple; we have to try to pass the first round," he told Foot Mercato.

"We have grown in the past four years. We qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations and we also qualified for the World Cup.

"We should not be shy. It is clear that there will be many obstacles and there will be big teams in front of us but we must not be intimidated. We have nothing to lose."

Bougherra, 31, believes Algeria have improved since South Africa four years ago, when they failed to score in three matches, claiming just one point from a 0-0 draw with England.

But while the central defender accepts Algeria face tough opponents in Group H after being drawn with Belgium, Russia and South Korea, he believes his team can progress. 

"Everyone agrees that Belgium are favourites," he added. 

"Russia are a very good team and are regulars in the World Cup. South Korea are also experienced and very hard to handle because they are quite tactical.

"We will play against three teams with three different styles of play but I'm confident. It's going to be hard but I have faith."