ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria have dropped African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez and his Leicester City team mate Islam Slimani from the squad for next weekend’s World Cup qualifier against Cameroon.
The pair are major victims of a clear out of the squad announced on Sunday after Algeria suffered home and away defeats against Zambia in their last qualifiers to end their hopes of reaching next year’s finals in Russia.
Algeria reached the second round of the last World Cup in Brazil.
Midfielder Nabil Bentaleb was also dropped, while Carl defensive midfielder Carl Medjani was not considered after announcing his retirement from international football.
Coach Lucas Alcaraz, who has been given the last two qualifiers against Cameroon on Saturday and Nigeria next month, to save his job, has named four new players, including French-born winger Mohamed Fares from Serie A club Verona.
Algeria are bottom of Group B in African qualifying on one point from four matches, behind Nigeria (10), Zambia (seven) and Cameroon (three). Only the group winners will advance to Russia.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by John O'Brien