We look ahead to the opening game of Group D at AFCON 2023 with our Algeria vs Angola prediction and preview. After Algeria’s terrible 2021 tournament appearance, can they make a strong start at Stade de la Paix in Bouaké?
Algeria vs Angola: Pre-Match Facts
- The Opta supercomputer predicts an Algeria victory in this match, with the Fennec Foxes winning 64.3% of simulations before kick-off.
- Algeria and Angola are facing each other for the second time at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. Their only previous encounter produced a goalless draw in the group stage of the 2010 edition.
- Algeria are making their 20th appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations. They will be attempting to win the trophy for the third time after successes in 1990 and 2019.
- Algeria’s two previous AFCON titles were won on North African soil: at home in 1990 and in Egypt in 2019. The only previous time Algeria have reached the final outside of North Africa was in 1980 in Nigeria.
- This is Algeria’s sixth consecutive appearance at AFCON, their longest streak since qualifying for seven tournaments in a row between 1980 and 1992.
- Algeria scored with only one of their 46 shots at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (2.2%). They converted 13 of their 77 shots on their way to the title in 2019 (16.8%).
- This is Angola’s ninth appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations. They have qualified from the AFCON group stages on only two occasions (2008 and 2010, the latter as hosts) but have never won a game in the knockout phase of the competition.
- Angola are winless in their last eight AFCON matches (D4 L4), their joint-longest drought in the competition. Their last victory was their 2012 opening group match against Burkina Faso.
- Angola’s last four matches in all competitions ended goalless. They drew 0-0 vs DR Congo in October, vs Cape Verde and Mauritius in November and most recently in a friendly with DR Congo on 6 January.
- Angola are unbeaten in their last five opening matches at an Africa Cup of Nations tournament (W1 D4). The last time they lost their first match at an AFCON edition was 2006 (3-1 v Cameroon).
- Angola have scored only two goals in their last seven AFCON matches – one of them was an own goal.
- Mohamed Amoura (three goals) was the only Algerian player to score more than one goal in the qualifiers for this year’s tournament.
Djamel Belmadi’s Algeria side will be looking to do something they didn’t manage at the 2021 AFCON – win a match. Their dismal showing at the tournament two years ago came despite entering on a 34-game unbeaten run. Their three matches in Cameroon saw them score just once from 46 shots, and even that was a consolation goal in their final group stage game versus Ivory Coast.
They enter this tournament in good form, too. They are currently on an 11-game unbeaten run (W8 D3) since last losing in a November 2022 friendly with Sweden (2-0). They have won their last three matches in a row, including an impressive AFCON warm-up victory over Burundi on 9 January, in which goals from Baghdad Bounedjah, Islam Slimani, Mohamed Amoura and Riyad Mahrez sealed a 4-0 win.
Much of their success in this edition will depend on the form of star player and captain Mahrez, who we earmarked as a key man in our AFCON Group E preview. He’s had an impressive season at Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League since leaving reigning Premier League and UEFA Champions League winners Manchester City.
Algeria qualified for AFCON 2023 by winning Group F of qualification ahead of Tanzania, Uganda and Niger. They dropped just two points across qualifying, with their 0-0 home draw against Tanzania in the final game the only match they failed to win. As a result, their total of 16 points was the most of any side across the AFCON 2023 qualifiers. Of the 23 nations that had to qualify for AFCON 2023 (Ivory Coast automatically qualified as hosts), only Morocco (24 March 2023) qualified earlier than Algeria (27 March 2023).
Algeria have participated at the AFCON 19 times before this edition, and won the trophy on two previous occasions, in 1990 – when they defeated Nigeria in the final as hosts – and more recently in 2019 when they beat Senegal 1-0 for the title thanks to a second-minute Bounedjah goal. At the last AFCON tournament played in 2022, they unexpectedly exited in the group stage after finishing bottom with just one point and one goal from three games versus Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.
It would go against recent form to see Angola going goal-crazy in this match. Their last four games have all ended 0-0, while they have scored just once in their last seven international matches – that coming via Gelson Dala in a 1-1 draw with Mozambique in October.
Angola qualified for AFCON 2023 by coming second in Group E ahead of the Central African Republic and Madagascar. They won nine points across their six group stage matches, despite winning only twice, both victories coming against the Central African Republic, and their one loss to eventual group winners Ghana.
Angola have previously participated in AFCON eight times. Their best performances came in 2008, when they reached the quarter-finals, falling to Egypt, and in 2010 as hosts also reaching the last eight before losing to Ghana. Angola’s last appearance at the tournament was in 2019, when they failed to make it out of the group, finishing third in the standings behind Mali and Tunisia.
Algeria vs Angola Head-to-Head
This will be just the second meeting between Algeria and Angola at an Africa Cup of Nations tournament. They previously came up against one another in the AFCON 2010 group stage, with the match ending 0-0 in Egypt. It was the final game of the group on that occasion, with the goalless draw seeing both Algeria and Angola qualify from Group A at the expense of Mali and Malawi.
Algeria vs Angola Prediction
The Opta supercomputer is predicting an Algeria victory in this match, winning 64.3% of the pre-match simulations, compared to Angola’s win ratio of 17.2%.
In the week leading up to AFCON 2023, our pre-tournament predictions had Algeria as fourth favourites to win the trophy (9.7%) behind only Senegal, Ivory Coast and Morocco but ahead of Egypt, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tunisia and Ghana.
Alongside Namibia, Angola had the lowest chance of winning this AFCON tournament at 0.5%.
Below are their current, up-to-date chances of progression through AFCON 2023 according to the Opta supercomputer:
Algeria vs Angola Squads
Algeria: Moustapha Zeghba, Anthony Mandréa, Oussama Benbot, Raïs M’Bolhi, Aïssa Mandi, Ahmed Touba, Rayan Aït-Nouri, Mohamed Amine Tougaï, Ramy Bensebaïni, Zinéddine Belaïd, Yasser Larouci, Kévin Van Den Kerkhof, Youcef Atal, Hicham Boudaoui, Nabil Bentaleb, Youcef Belaïli, Sofiane Féghouli, Adam Ounas, Ismaël Bennacer, Houssem Aouar, Ramiz Zerrouki, Farès Chaïbi, Riyad Mahrez, Baghdad Bounedjah, Mohammed Amoura, Islam Slimani.
Coach: Djamel Belmadi
Angola: Neblú, Kadú, Gelson, António Signori, Eddie, Jonathan Buatu, Inácio Miguel, Tó Carneiro, Kialonda Gaspar, Kinito, Núrio Fortuna, Fredy, Bruno Paz, Manuel Keliano, Beni, Show, Estrela, Gelson Dala, Mabululu, Milson, Depú, Loide Augusto, Gilberto, Chico Banza, Jérémie Bela, Zine, Zito Luvumbo.
Coach: Pedro Gonçalves