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Factbox on Algeria

Colours: White shirts, socks and shorts, all with green trim

Nickname: Les Fennecs (desert fox)

Previous World Cup appearances: 1982, 1986

Best World Cup performance: Failed to past the first round in previous appearances

Coach: Rabah Saadane

Most capped player: Mahieddine Meftah 95

Top goalscorer: Abdelhafid Tasfaout 35

Talking points:

Algeria have exceeded expectations by reaching the World Cup finals for the first time since the 1986 tournament in Mexico. They also eliminated African champions Egypt during the qualifiers.

It means Algeria will either be happy to rest on their laurels or they will try to build on their unexpected success by plotting to score some big upsets.

The side are heavily dependent on French-born players, while locally-based players are controversially overlooked. The policy of tapping into Algerian talent across Europe has been actively pursued by the country's football federation but it causes resentment at the lack of opportunity available for Algerian-born players.

Players to watch:

Karim Ziani is a tricky player with the potential to destroy defenders on the right-hand side and Nadir Belhadj adds a similar option down the left. In defence, Madjid Bougherra is key to holding the line and keeping the discipline, plus he adds an attacking option going forward for set pieces.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar; To query or comment on this story email

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