Brahimi left out as Belmadi makes six changes to Algeria squad

By Danesius Marteh Football Writer, Liberia
Brahimi is not included in Algeria's latest squad

Yacine Brahimi has been omitted by Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi for the defending champions' 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with Zambia on 14 November in Blida and then away to Botswana four days later.

The omission of Qatar-based Brahimi is one of six changes to the squad that defeated Colombia 3-0 in Lille last month in Algeria's first friendly in France after 11 years.

29-year-old Brahimi, who helped Algeria win the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt, has participated in the Desert Foxes' last three friendly internationals.

The former France youth international spent five seasons at Portugal's FC Porto before a move to Qatar where he has made 10 appearances for top-tier side Al Rayyan, scoring six goals.

There is a return for Haris Belkebla who was dropped from the Egypt 2019 squad for appearing on social media exposing his backside on a live stream of an online game. He later issued an emotional apology, saying he was "broken-hearted".

There are also call-ups for uncapped right-back Mohammed Reda Halaimia, Maxime Spano-Rahou, who was born in France and Adem Zorgane, who has played for the under-23 team.

Zinedine Ferhat, Said Benrahma, Hicham Boudaoui, Ilyes Chetti and Ilias Hassani were all omitted by Belmadi, having been selected for the match with Colombia.

The Desert Foxes will play in Group H of 2021 Nations Cup qualifying, alongside three southern African teams, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

The winners and runners-up will qualify from each group except in Group F where Cameroon will automatically qualify as hosts with the highest placed of the other three teams.

Algeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Azzedine Doukha (Al-Raed, Saudi Arabia), Alexandre Oukidja (Metz, France), Raïs M'Bolhi (Al-Ettifaq, Saudi Arabia)

Defenders: Djamel Benlamri (Al-Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Aïssa Mandi (Real Betis, Spain), Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Germany), Mehdi Tahrat (Abha Club, Saudi Arabia), Youcef Atal (Nice, France), Maxime Spano-Rahou (Valenciennes, France), Ayoub Abdellaoui (FC Sion, Switzerland), Reda Halaima (Beerschot, Belgium)

Midfielders: Adlène Guedioura (Al-Gharafa, Qatar), Ismaël Bennacer (AC Milan, France), Mehdi Abeid (Nantes, France), Harris Belkebla (Brest, France), Adem Zorgane (Paradou AC), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray, Turkey)

Forwards: Baghdad Bounedjah (Al-Sadd, Qatar), Islam Slimani (AS Monaco, France), Andy Delort (Montpellier, France), Youcef Belaïli (Al-Ahli, Saudi Arabia), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, England), Hilal Soudani (Olympiakos, Greece)

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