Algeria assistant coach, Nourredine Kourichi, has said that they have no plan to stop Chelsea star Eden Hazard ahead of their World Cup opener against Belgium. Kourichi said Belgium had too many other threats, including striker Romelu Lukaku, to allow them to focus on the midfielder.
"If we focus on Eden Hazard, we could have some nasty surprises. We know his qualities but also his weak points, but we can't focus especially on him, there are others, like Lukaku," he said. "We don't have a special plan against Hazard. We can mark and stop an opposing player with our own strategy."
Algeria are at their fourth FIFA World Cup™, but not since 1986 and a 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland, that they last scored in the tournament after failing to find the net at South Africa 2010. They remain mindful of their seismic 2-1 upset of Germany on their tournament debut in 1982 as they approach a team also blessed with Manchester-based Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj.
On Tuesday both teams have a chance, it's not a small team against a big team
"At that time, we were an under-developed country against the giants Germany who were champions of Europe," Kourichi said. "Everyone thought we would lose 5-0 or 6-0. That day, it was our technical quality that made the difference against the power of Germany."
He added: "You can't replace experience, but when you have the will, the recklessness and the talent, anything is possible. On Tuesday both teams have a chance, it's not a small team against a big team."
Essaid Belkalem, who plays for English Championship side Watford, insisted Belgium were not even favourites for the game, citing the Netherlands' 5-1 upset of World Cup-holders Spain.
"Just look at Spain, who are the reigning world champions," he said. "They were favourites and they took a beating against the Netherlands. Belgium are a good team but we have will and the ability to cope."