Defending champions Algeria will kick off their TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 campaign against Sierra Leone, who are marking a return to Africa’s flagship competition after 26 years of absence.

Match Card

Date: January 11, 2022

Time: 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT)

Venue: Japoma Stadium, Douala

Group: E

Match: Algeria v Sierra Leone

Following are the Match Facts from Opta:

Leone Stars training ahead of their match against Algeria

● Algeria and Sierra Leone’s only previous encounter at the Africa Cup of Nations was in the group phase of the 1996 tournament – Algeria won 2-0.

● This will be Algeria’s 19th participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, winning it twice previously (1990, 2019). They will be aiming to win back-to-back AFCON tournaments for the first time since Egypt’s three in a row from 2006 and 2010.

● Algeria are unbeaten in their last eight games at the Africa Cup of Nations (W6 D2), equaling their longest run without a defeat in the history of the tournament. In 2019, they conceded only two goals in seven games on their way to victory, and never fell behind at any point of a match.

● Algeria scored 19 goals in six games during qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the highest tally among the 24 teams at this year’s tournament. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone won only one of their six games, fewer than any of the qualified teams.

● Sierra Leone are taking part in their third Africa Cup of Nations, and their first since 1996. They have won only one of their five games at the tournament (D1 L3), a 2-1 victory against Burkina Faso in 1996.

● Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani are two of four players to have scored in each of the last three AFCON tournaments, alongside Ghana’s Ayew brothers, André and Jordan.

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