Algeria coach Rabah Saadane has warned his players they face FIFA World Cup™ humiliation at the hands of England if they do not pull up their socks.
The north African side were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by the Republic of Ireland - who will not be in South Africa - at Dublin's RDS last night, just three weeks before they are due to meet Fabio Capello's men in Cape Town.
Though Ireland missed out on the finals, Saadane admitted Giovanni Trapattoni's men should be there on the evidence of their latest performance. He said: "Ireland are a formidable team - they were superior to us and deserve a place in the World Cup.
"But England will be a tougher team than the one we faced tonight. They are one of my favourites to reach the final."
Capello's assistant Franco Baldini was in Dublin to see the Republic end their season with a second victory over FIFA World Cup-bound opponents in four days. But while Tuesday night's 2-1 win over Paraguay was hard-fought, if deserved, they brushed Algeria aside with barely a second thought.
Derby midfielder Paul Green celebrated his second cap and his first start for his country with a goal when he dived bravely to head in Liam Lawrence's 32nd-minute cross, and Ireland rarely looked like surrendering their lead thereafter. They doubled it seven minutes after the break through skipper Robbie Keane's cool finish after errors from Wolves defender Aldane Guedioura and keeper Faouzi Chaouchi, and the Tottenham striker might have completed a hat-trick before he finally did find the net once again.
Djamel Mesbah's trip on Keane handed him the chance to take his senior international goals tally to 43 from the penalty spot, and he duly obliged by sending substitute keeper Rais Mbolhi the wrong way five minutes from time.
Trapattoni, who had drummed into his players for the last week that the two games were all about preparing for the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign, was delighted with their response. He said: "If we play like we did against Paraguay and Algeria, I think we must achieve qualification for the European Championships."
The fact that the most convincing win of the Italian's reign to date came with Green stating for the first time alongside 19-year-old debutant Greg Cunningham, the Manchester City full-back, was all the more pleasing. Trapattoni said: "We started the game with conviction and Paul Green and Greg Cunningham played without fear.
"I asked the senior players to watch them, but they didn't need any help. When I closed my eyes, Cunningham could have been any left-back, Green too. They were fantastic and we did not miss any players we did not have tonight."