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Resurgent Algerian league kicks off new season with Algiers derby
The 2015-2016 edition of the Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1 kicks off Thursday with what will be the first of many Algiers derbies, as MC Alger host CR Belouizdad at the Omar Hamadi Stadium in the Algerian capital.
MC Alger, who finished just one point above the relegation zone last year, will look to bounce back from a disappointing season and have brought in a number of reinforcements including former Ahly forward Saladin Said, as well as last season’s top scorer Walid Derrardja from MC El Eulma. As for their opponents CR Belouizdad, they will look to improve on their sixth place finish from last season after bringing in eight new signings.
Title favourites USM Alger, who recently qualified for the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League, open up their season against another Algiers side, NA Hussein Dey, while defending league champions ES Sétif will begin their title defence at home on Saturday against MC Oran.
The Algerian league has seen a resurgence in recent years, with ES Sétif winning the CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup last season, and three Algerian clubs qualifying for the group stage of the CAF Champions League this season, a first in African football history.
Full list of first round fixtures:
MC Alger – CR Belouizdad
USM El Harrach – JS Saoura
ASM Oran – USM Blida
DRB Tadjenanet – RC Relizane
NA Hussein Dey – USM Alger
RC Arbaâ – MO Béjaïa
JS Kabylie – CS Constantine
ES Sétif – MC Oran