The new arrangement of Algeria’s goalkeepers before the match with Guinea

The Algerian national team is preparing to face its Guinean counterpart, next Thursday, June 6, for the third round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, amid great public anticipation regarding the changes expected to be made in the starting lineup of the “Desert Warriors”, and to a large extent in the goalkeeping position after the remnants of the friendly period in March. / Last March.

The “Greens” had played two friendly matches during the camp last March. They won the first against Bolivia with a score of (3-2), and tied in the second with a score of (3-3) against South Africa. The “Warriors” were widely criticized for their defensive fragility, most notably The performance of the two goalkeepers: Anthony Mandria (27 years old), who participated in the Bolivia match, and Mustafa Zaghba (33 years old), who played in the South Africa match.

The Algerian national team will play two important matches on June 6 and 10, against Guinea in Algeria and Uganda in Kampala, respectively. 2026 World Cup qualifiersThe new coach, Swiss Vladimir Petkovic, needs to make decisive decisions regarding the identity of the main goalkeeper to restore balance to the Algerian national team’s defense and instill confidence in the hearts of the Algerian fans, who have begun to doubt the capabilities of the current national team goalkeepers.

Will Petkovic make a change in the Algeria national team’s starting goalkeeper position?

The coach of the Algerian national team, Vladimir Petkovic, admitted his dissatisfaction with the defensive performance of his players during the two friendlies last March, including individual errors in the defensive situation, similar to the mistakes of goalkeeper Mandria in the match with Bolivia.

Although Petkovic did not talk specifically about the goalkeeping position, the performance of both Mandria and Zaghba will make him make some important decisions during the matches between Guinea and Uganda.

Some analysts believe that Mustafa Zaghba, the star of the Saudi Damac club, seems closest to playing the role of the main goalkeeper in the Algerian national team, given that Anthony Mandria, the star of the French club Kune, did not take advantage of the opportunities that were available to him earlier, especially during the era of Djamel Belmadi, and he was His performance varied each time and did not settle at a consistent level, which made many Algerians demand a review of his current status with the “Warriors.”

Demands that Ben Bout, the Algerian goalkeeper, be given the opportunity

On the other hand, a large group of Algerian fans are calling for the need to give the third goalkeeper, Oussama Ben Bout (29 years old), the star of Ittihad Algeria, the opportunity to be the first goalkeeper for the Algerian national team in the coming period, and to benefit from his great African experience thanks to his participation with JS Kabylie and Ittihad Algeria. He reached the CAF Cup final with the first team in 2021 (losing it to Raja by two goals to one).

Ben Bout led the Algerian club to win the same tournament in 2023 by defeating the Tanzanian club Young Africans (they won the first leg by two goals to one and lost the return leg in Algeria by one unanswered goal). Followers praise the great potential of goalkeeper Ben Bout, at a time when he did not have the opportunity to gain the confidence of the coach. “For the team”The greens” until now.

The end of the M’Bolhi era in the Algerian national team calls for urgent solutions

Many Algerians believe that goalkeeper Wahhab Rais Mbolhi’s control over the position of main goalkeeper in the Algerian national team for many years is part of the current problem, as the star of the Algerian club Belouizdad remained the number one goalkeeper in the “Greens” for 14 years (since the 2010 World Cup), and he played In total, he played 96 international matches, during which he conceded 91 goals, and kept a clean sheet on 40 occasions.

Algeria defender Medani in the friendly match against South Africa (Getty) Winwin

M’Bolhi’s brilliance with the Algerian national team, and his constant participation even when he was without a club, cut off the path of many other goalkeepers, the last of whom was Alexandre Okidja, the goalkeeper of the French club Metz, who announced his retirement from international football last year after he was tired of always sitting on the bench. .

After M’bolhi was excluded from the national team due to his advanced age, 38 years, and his declining levels with the Belouizdad club and his suffering from injury, it became clear that the Algerian national team had not yet found a suitable successor for it, who would provide the necessary confidence to the Algerian fans regarding the future of the goalkeeping position in the “Desert Warriors” national team.

The Algerians are eagerly awaiting the technical options of Vladimir Petkovic during the matches between Guinea and Uganda regarding the main goalkeeper, especially after the defensive performance has become the most prominent concern for the Algerian fans in the current period, in contrast to the remarkable brilliance of the offensive line.

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