Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has explained why he has decided to come up against tough opponents like Nigeria and Mexico in international matches this month.
Of the last seven games between the Super Eagles and the Desert Foxes, the West African giants have won five and lost two, and one of the losses came in the boardroom when Nigeria fieldes an ineligible player Abdullahi Shehu, in ther last game in 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Algeria beat Nigeria 2-1 in last year's Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals thanks to a brilliant free kick from Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez in the last kick of the game.
Speaking to reporters at Wednesday's press conference, Belmadi explained as cited by Sports Central: "Nigeria is a benchmark match, especially in the first half, we could have led 3-0. "They are always very close matches against them, moreover they won more than we did. I am looking for the difficulty against Nigeria to progress.
He continued : "We could have opted very quickly against smaller teams but I had the requirement to obtain these two prestigious matches against Nigeria and Mexico. "Nigeria everyone knows, it is the third best team in the FIFA / CAF ranking.
Nigeria are undefeated in the last five games since losing to Algeria on July 14, 2019, have also drawn against Brazil and Ukraine, and have won against Tunisia, Benin and Lesotho..