Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2022 match:
After failing to impress in a goalless draw with Sierra Leone, Algeria will be aiming to record their first win in Group E when they take on Equatorial Guinea at Japoma Stadium. Riyad Mahrez failed to impress in the AFCON 2021 opener, but the opposition defenders should have the Manchester City ace at bay. West Ham midfielder Said Behrahma is widely expected to return to the starting XI.
Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, suffered a 1-0 loss to Ivory Coast in the opening match of their Africa Cup of Nations campaign. Obiang Bicogo’s troops face yet another uphill task on Sunday, and seeing that Algeria are desperate to pick up all three points from the match, away win should be considered. Talented Equatorial Guinea attacker Luis Niavo must be very cautious in the Japoma Stadium clash as he is one yellow card away from suspension.
Highlighted Player (Youcef Atal):
The Boghni born Algerian started playing football at the age of ten when he joined CR Belouizdinad's youth academy in 2006. His decade long youth career saw him feature for other more Algerian teams before signing a professional contract with the last one, namely Paradou AC, in 2015.
Atal, who predominantly plays as a right-back, made his first professional appearance on the 9th of January 2016, playing in Paradou's 3-0 over CR Beni Thour in the Coupe d'Algerie. His performances during his 17/18 loan spell at Belgian Club Kortrijk earned him a move to France with OGC Nice in 2018.
At Nice, the 23-year-old has become a valuable first-team player and is on a five-year contract expiring in 2023. On the International stage, Atal has capped 14 times for Algeria, making his debut on the 6th of June, 2017, in a friendly against Guinea.