Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi was cautious about the draw for the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021. Reigning African champions, the Algerians will play in Douala in the group E along with Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Elephants of Côte d'Ivoire.
Careful, Djamel Belmadi gave his first impressions of the draw.
"It's a group with obviously a big one from Africa, namely Côte d'Ivoire" he said. "It's a very strong team that needs no introduction. We faced them in the quarter-finals of AFCON 2019 and everyone saw the match. Of course, Algeria and Côte d'Ivoire are the favorites of this group, ahead of Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea. But, you have to know that there are no longer small teams in Africa. There is always a surprise. We must be ready and vigilant. We should not take things lightly, otherwise we risk going by the wayside. We must prepare well to approach this AFCON as it should be and try to achieve the best possible result ”.
Regarding the opponents, Côte d'Ivoire is an old acquaintance since the two teams have already met eight times in the final tournament of the Africa Cup of Nations. The Algerians won two games, the Ivorians three, and the other three ended in draws. Sierra Leone is less well known among Algerians. Only one meeting opposed the two teams in the final tournament of the African Cup. It was in the 1996 edition in South Africa with a victory for the Desert Foxes by two goals to nil thanks to a brace from Ali Meçabih. Finally, it will be the first confrontation with Equatorial Guinea.