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Maghreb sides release squads for FIFA friendlies
The Desert Foxes, seeking to bounce back from an underwhelming AFCON outing, have brought in new faces as some of their stars pulled out with injuries. Gourcuff has given call up to 7 uncapped players in his 23 man selection including the long overdue call-up for young sensation, Youcef Belaili. They will play Qatar and Oman on the 26th and 30th of March respectively.
Goalkeepers: Malik Asselah (CR BELOUIZDAD), Azzedine Doukha (JS KABYLIE), Cédric Si Mohamed (CS CONSTANTINE).
Defenders: Djamel Eddine Benlamri (JS KABYLIE), Faouzi Ghoulam (SSC NAPLES, Italy), Rafik Halliche (QATAR SC, Qatar), Aïssa Mandi (STADE DE REIMS, France), Carl Medjani (TRABZONSPOR, Turkey), Djamel Eddine Mesbah (SAMPDORIA, Italy), Mehdi Zeffane (OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS, France), Farouk Chafaï (USM ALGER).
Midfielders: Nabil Bentaleb (TOTTENHAM, England), Yacine Brahimi (FC PORTO, Portugal), Sofiane Feghouli (VALENCIA, Spain), Medhi Lacen (GETAFE, Spain), Riyad Mahrez (LEICESTER CITY, England), Saphir Taïder (SASSUOLO, Italy), Rachid Ghezzal (OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS, France), Mohamed Youcef Belaïli (USM ALGER).
Forwards: Ishak Belfodil (FC PARMA, Italy), Ibrahim Chennihi (MC EL EULMA), Islam Slimani (SPORTING LISBON, Portugal), Yannis Mourad Tafer (ST GALLEN, Switzerland).
Leekens will have to make do without Bordaeux star Wahbi Khazri after he ruled himself out of the Carthage Eagles friendlies with injury. In his place will be uncapped As Marsa player Amir Omrani. The Tunisians play Japan on 27th March before meeting China on the 31st of March.
Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (CLUB AFRICAIN), Moez Ben Cherifia (ESPERANCE TUNIS), Achraf Kerir (ESPERANCE ZARZIS).
Defenders: Hamza Mathlouthi (CA BIZERTIN), Maher Hannachi (CS SFAXIEN), Ali Maaloul (CS SFAXIEN), Mohamed Ali Yaakoubi (ESPERANCE TUNIS), Oussama Hadadi (CLUB AFRICAIN), Syam Ben Youssef (ASTRA GIURGIU, Romania), Aymen Abdennour (AS MONACO, France), Chamseddine Dhaouadi (ESPERANCE TUNIS).
Midfielders: Houcine Regued (ESPERANCE TUNIS), Houcine Nater (CLUB AFRICAIN), Mohamed Ali Moncer (CS SFAXIEN), Ferjani Sassi (METZ, France), Mohamed Wael Larbi (GAZELEC AJACCIO, France), Mohamed Gouaida (HAMBURGER SV, Germany), Yassine Chikhaoui (FC ZURICH, Switzerland), Amir Omrani (AS MARSA).
Forwards: Saber Khalifa (CLUB AFRICAIN), Ahmed Akaichi (ESPERANCE TUNIS), Taha Yassine Kheniss (CS SFAXIEN).
Despite a standing ban from the next two AFCONs, 2017 and 2019, Morocco will also feature in this week’s FIFA friendlies. They will look to build on their five match winning run as they take on Uruguay on 28th March.
Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou (REAL ZARAGOZA, Spain), Munir Mohamedi (CD NUMANCIA, Spain), Abdelali Mhamdi (KAWKAB MARRAKECH)
Defenders: Mehdi Benatia (BAYERN MUNICH, Germany), Issam El Adoua (CHONGQING LIFAN, China), Mohamed Oulhaj (RAJA CASABLANCA), Ayoub El Khaliqi (FAR RABAT), Mohamed Abarhoun (Maghreb Tetouan), Achraf Lazaar (PALERMO, Italy), Rochdi Achenteh (VITESSE, Netherlands), Ahmed El Messaoudi (LIERSE, Belgium).
Midfielders: Houcine Kharja (SOCHAUX, France), Mbark Boussoufa (LOKOMOTIV MOSCOW, Russia), Karim El Ahmadi (FEYENOORD, Netherlands), Nordin Amrabat (MALAGA, Spain), Mounir Obbadi (VERONA, Italy), Omar El Kaddouri (TORINO, Italy), Nabil Dirar (AS MONACO, France), Zakaria Labyad (VITESSE, Netherlands), Jamel Ait Ben Idir (AJ AUXERRE, France), Sofyan Amrabat (FC UTRECHT, Netherlands).
Forwards: Abderrazak Hamed (GUAGHZHOU R&F, China), Mouhcine Iajour (MAGHREB TETOUAN), Aatif Chahechouhe (SIVASSPOR, Turkey), Yacine Bammou (NANTES, France).
Algeria and Tunisia will feature in the 2017 AFCON draw that will take place in Cairo on 8th April, 2015.