Belhadj targets England defence
Nadir Belhadj is confident Algeria can penetrate England's defence in the crucial Group C clash on Friday.
By James Riach
Last Updated: 16/06/10 8:23am
Algeria winger Nadir Belhadj is confident his side can penetrate England's defence in the crucial Group C clash on Friday.
The 27-year-old is expected to line up against the Three Lions this week, with Algeria currently bottom of the group having lost their opening match 1-0 to Slovenia.
England and the USA played out a 1-1 draw leaving Fabio Capello's men needing a win against the North Africans in Cape Town if they are to put themselves in a strong position.
But Belhadj, who experienced relegation from the Premier League with Portsmouth last season, is confident the Desert Foxes have what it takes to breach England's 'weak' defence.
"It is a vital match against England, who are clearly the stronger side," he said in The Sun.
"But their defence is their weakness and we are going to play a lot better in attack than we did against Slovenia in our first match.
"It will be an open game and we must win - but so must England. They are the group favourites but anything is possible in football.
"On paper, England are the best team but they have had some difficulties, especially in the recent friendly against Japan.
"We have seen some gaps, especially in their defence. And, if we can take advantage of those gaps in the way Japan did, maybe it could make the difference and we could create history by qualifying from the group stages."
On personal rivalries that will emerge on Friday, Belhadj added: "I have a lot of respect for all the England players. I have played with some of them, such as Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch.
"But, on match day, I will fight for my national team. On the pitch, they will not be my friends."
Algeria were reduced to 10 men in their opening game against Slovenia, after substitute Abdelkader Ghezzal was sent off for receiving two yellow cards.
The Europeans managed to nick a win thanks to a goal from Robert Koren, but Belhadj believes the match has prepared his team for the upcoming England challenge.
He remarked: "Facing such a team which was really solid has helped us and we will make sure we are prepared to play England."