Mahrez and Slimani left out of Algeria squad for World Cup qualifier
Algeria have dropped the current African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez and his Leicester City team-mate Islam Slimani from the squad for next weekend’s World Cup qualifier against Cameroon.
The pair are victims of a clear-out after Algeria suffered home and away defeats against Zambia in their last qualifiers.
Those results ended the Desert Foxes’ hopes of reaching next year’s finals in Russia, having reached the second round of the last World Cup in Brazil.
Midfielder Nabil Bentaleb was also dropped, while defensive midfielder Carl Medjani was not considered after announcing his retirement from international football.
Coach Lucas Alcaraz has been given the last two qualifiers – against Cameroon on Saturday and Nigeria next month – to save his job.
He has named four new players, including French-born winger Mohamed Fares from Serie A club Verona.
The Algerian Federation say the squad will leave for Yaoundé on Thursday 5 October from Algiers.
Algeria are bottom of Group B in African qualifying on one point from four matches, behind Nigeria (10), Zambia (seven) and Cameroon (three).
Only the group winners will advance to Russia.
Goalkeepers: Raïs M’Bolhi (Stade Rennes, France), Abdelkadir Salhi (CR Belouizdad, Algeria), Toufik Moussaoui (Paradou AC, Algeria).
Defenders: Mohamed Fares (Hellas Verona, Italy), Faouzi Ghoulam (SSC Napoli, Italy), Rami Bensebaini (Stade Rennes, France), Aïssa Mandi (Real Betis, Spain), Abdelkader Bedrane (ES Sétif, Algeria), Liassine Cadamuro-Bentaiba (Nîmes Olympique, France), Farouk Chafai (USM Alger, Algeria), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray SK, Turkey), Zinedine Ferhat (Le Havre AC, France).
Midfielders: Raouf Benguit (USM Alger, Algeria), Sofiane Bendebka (MC Alger, Algeria), Saphir Taider (Bologna FC, Italy), Sofiane Daham (FC Sochaux, France).
Forwards: Hilal El Arabi Soudani (GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia), Rachid Ghezzal (AS Monaco, France), Abderrahmane Meziane (USM Alger, Algeria), Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto, Portugal), Sofiane Hanni (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium), Ishak Belfodil (SV Werder Bremen, Germany), Oussama Darfalou (USM Alger, Germany).