‘We have noth­ing to lose’ says Bougherra

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World Cup -

Al­gE­riA de­fender Mad­jid Bougherra be­lieves all the pres­sure is on Eng­land ahead of their group C en­counter in Cape Town on Fri­day.

Bougherra’s side lie bot­tom of the pool hav­ing lost their open­ing match 1-0 to Slove­nia on Sun­day, but the 27-year-old is com­forted by the fact they are only one point be­hind Fabio Capello’s side.

And, as Eng­land were the favourites to top the group at the out­set, the Rangers cen­tre-back reck­ons they are the ones who have more to worry about ahead of the clash at the Green Point Sta­dium.

“Eng­land are a big player with a good men­tal­ity and a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Bougherra, one of the more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers from a nation play­ing in the World Cup for the first time in 24 years.

“It is our a first World Cup for our play­ers so we have noth­ing to lose. We are not just think­ing about the World Cup but also about the fu­ture.

“We will do our best to por­tray a good im­age of Al­ge­ria. We have a good spirit and have noth­ing to lose.”

Bougherra, who had stints in Eng­land with Sh­effield Wed­nes­day, Charl­ton and Crewe, ex­pects Capello’s side to im­prove af­ter a stut­ter­ing start in the 1-1 draw with the United States on Satur­day.

“It was a strong game be­tween Eng­land and the USA. Both teams played hard with a good spirit,” he added.

“There was frus­tra­tion for Eng­land and also for the USA, but it was a good re­sult be­cause it gives us a chance as Eng­land and the USA have just one point.

“Eng­land are the favourites but big teams usu­ally start slowly and fin­ish high. I ex­pect Eng­land to get bet­ter.”

Al­ge­ria are likely to pose a threat to Eng­land at set-pieces, with Bougherra and fel­low cen­tre-back Rafik Hal­liche strong in the air and Portsmouth left-back Nadir Bel­hadj show­ing against Slove­nia he can pro­duce plenty of de­cent crosses.

How­ever, they also dis­played a lack of qual­ity in the fi­nal third and rarely looked like beat­ing goal­keeper Samir Han­danovic.

The one man who did make the break­through was Slove­nia cap­tain Robert Koren, re­leased by West Brom for fi­nan­cial rea­sons at the end of this sea­son.

His 25-yard shot did not ap­pear to pose too many prob­lems un­til Faouzi Chouchi mis­judged the bounce and al­lowed the ball to go in off his shoul­der.

NO PrES­SUrE ON US: Says Al­ge­ria’s Mad­jid Bougherra.

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