We look ahead to Tuesday’s Group D clash at the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 with our Mauritania vs Algeria prediction and preview.

Mauritania vs Algeria: Pre-Match Facts

  • The Opta supercomputer makes Algeria big favourites for this one, predicting they win this game 70.7% of the time.
  • This will be the first encounter between Mauritania and Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations. 
  • Mauritania have lost four of their last five matches against Algeria across all competitions, although their last meeting with the Fennec Foxes was a goalless draw in an international friendly in December 2022.  
  • Mauritania are still without a win at the Africa Cup of Nations in their eight games in the competition so far (D2 L6), losing each of their last five matches.  
  • Algeria are without a win in five successive Africa Cup of Nations games (D3 L2) for the first time since 2013 (D1 L4), drawing both games so far at the 2023 edition. 
  • Despite losing 3-2 last time out to Angola, Mauritania scored more goals in that single game than their first seven matches in the competition (1), while their eight shots on target so far at this tournament is already more than they managed in the entirety of AFCON 2021 (6).  
  • After failing to win any of their group games in the 2021 edition of AFCON or at this edition, Algeria could go six such games without a win since doing so between 1984 and 1988 (D4 L2). 
  • Algeria have conceded the opening goal in three of their last four games at the Africa Cup of Nations, as many times as in their prior 13 matches in the competition.  
  • Aboubakary Koïta has had more shots for Mauritania than any other teammate at this edition of AFCON (7), six of which have come from outside the penalty area (3 on target).  
  • Baghdad Bounedjah has scored all three of Algeria’s goals in this edition of AFCON so far; only Djamel Menad (4) has ever scored more at a single edition of the tournament for them.   
  • Adam Ounas has been involved in five goals in five AFCON appearances for Algeria (3 goals, 2 assists), averaging a goal involvement every 32 minutes in the competition (160 minutes played overall).  

Match Preview

Having made a hugely disappointing start to AFCON 2023, Algeria’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stage rest on them securing a positive result in their final game. Fortunately for the North Africans, on MD 3 they face what should be their easiest match so far at the tournament.

Two draws from two – against Angola (1-1) and Burkina Faso (2-2) – leave Algeria, who were fourth favourites to win the whole competition in our pre-tournament predictions, third in Group D and probably in need of a victory in their third and final match. Up against a Mauritania side who have never won a game at the Africa Cup of Nations (two draws and six losses in eight games), they have the perfect chance to get their campaign back on track.

After stumbling against Angola in their opening match, Algeria needed a 95th-minute Baghdad Bounedjah equaliser to rescue a point against Burkina Faso. Bounedjah has scored all three of Algeria’s goal at AFCON 2023 (3), meaning he is now two goals away from setting a new record for the most goals scored by an Algerian at any edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

algeria 2-2 burkina faso afcon 2023

Algeria have won four of their five meetings with Mauritania, so this should be a decent opportunity to put their own poor recent AFCON record to an end; they are without a win in five successive Africa Cup of Nations games for the first time since 2013.

However, Mauritania can’t be completely written off, simply because they managed a draw with Algeria in their most recent meeting – an international friendly in December 2022.

They also showed noteworthy improvement in their last match – a 3-2 defeat to Angola. In that game, Mauritania scored more goals than in any of their other previous AFCON matches and also took their total of shots on target at the tournament to eight – more than they managed in the whole of AFCON 2021 (six). They will take confidence from that game into this one.

Mauritania vs Angola stats

Mauritania vs Algeria Head-to-Head

Algeria are historically the bigger and more successful footballing nation, so it is no real surprise that they have the better of the teams’ head-to-head record. With four wins and a draw from five meetings, Algeria have dominated matches between these sides.

This will, however, be their first meeting at the Africa Cup of Nations. Also, having earned a goalless draw in their most recent meeting with Algeria, Mauritania will hope they can get another positive result here.

Mauritania vs Algeria Prediction

Mauritania vs Algeria prediction

Given the two sides’ relative strengths, it comes as no surprise that the Opta supercomputer makes Algeria strong favourites for this game. It predicts they take all three points in 70.7% of simulations. Mauritania have a slim 9.4% chance of causing a massive upset, while the draw comes in at 19.9%.

Our pre-tournament predictions had Algeria as fourth favourites, giving them a 9.7% chance of winning AFCON glory. That chance has now dropped, albeit not by a lot, with the Fennec Foxes handed a 7.3% shot at winning the title as of writing.

Given the strength of Mauritania, Algeria still have a very solid chance of qualifying for the last 16, doing so in 78.7% of tournament simulations at the time of writing.

Below are each team’s current, up-to-date chances of progression through AFCON 2023 according to the Opta supercomputer:

Mauritania vs Algeria Squads

Mauritania: Namori Diaw, M’Backé N’Diaye, Babacar Niasse, Aly Abeid, Mohamed Dellahi, Lamine Ba, Khadim Diaw, Ibrahima Keita, Hassan Houbeib, Bakary N’Diaye, Nouh El Abd, Mouhsine Bodda, Sidi El Abd, Oumar Ngom, Omaré Gassama, Abdallahi Mahmoud, El Ba, Bakari Camara, Guessouma Fofana, Pape Bâ, Aboubakary Koïta, Sidi Amar, Souleymane Doukara, Hemeya Tanjy, Aboubakar Kamara, Souleymane Anne, Idrissa Thiam.

Coach: Amir Abdou

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 

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