Algeria calls up its young guns

ALGIERS - Algeria included three more former French junior internationals among seven uncapped players in a 25-man preliminary World Cup squad on Tuesday.

ALGIERS - Algeria included three more former French junior internationals among seven uncapped players in a 25-man preliminary World Cup squad on Tuesday.

Surprise call-ups were handed out by coach Rabah Saadane to former France Under-21 captain Carl Medjani, defender Habib Belaid and Riad Boudebouz.

But Algeria still need clearance from world soccer governing body Fifa to use the Ligue 1 trio at next month's tournament in South Africa.

The north African country has received permission over the past six years to use a host of players of Algerian origin, originally capped by France at junior level.

For the first time the squad also includes Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Adlane Guedioura, who made his English Premier League debut in January, Valenciennes midfielder Fouad Kadir and Lecce defender Djamel Mesbah.

The Algeria coach also named Bulgaria-based goalkeeper Mbohi Rais Ouhed in his squad, which will begin training at Crans-Montana in Switzerland on May 13.

Saadane said he would invite five more players to the training camp, most likely from a long list of injured players making a late bid for fitness.

Algeria face Slovenia, England and the United States in Group C at the World Cup finals that start on June 11.

THE SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Fawzi Chaouchi (Entente Setif), Lounes Gaouaoui (ASO Chlef), Mbohi Rais Ouheb (Slavia Sofia, Bulgaria) and Mohamed Amine Zemmamouche (Mouloudia Algiers).

Defenders: Habib Belaid (Boulogne-sur-Mer, France), Nadir Belhadj (Portsmouth, England), Madjid Bougherra (Rangers, Scotland), Rafik Halliche (Nacional, Portugal), Abdelkader Laifaoui (Entente Setif), Carl Medjani (Ajaccio, France), Djamel Mesbah (Lecce, Italy) and Anthar Yahia (VfL Bochum, Germany).

Midfielders: Djamel Abdoun (Nantes, France), Riad Boudebouz (Sochaux, France), Adlane Guedioura (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Fouad Kadir (Valenciennes, France), Medhi Lacen (Racing Santander, Spain), Yazid Mansouri (FC Lorient, France), Mourad Meghni (Lazio, Italy), Hassan Yebda (Portsmouth, England) and Karim Ziani (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany).

Forwards: Rafik Djebbour (AEK Athens, Greece), Abdelkader Ghezzal (Siena, Italy), Karim Matmour (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany) and Rafik Saifi (Istres, France). - Reuters

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