–Go for win against Algeria in Group B
Ethiopia will host Algeria in the first Group B qualifier for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Addis Ababa today.
The Walia Antelopes are looking to qualify for their second successive Nations Cup finals, having appeared at the 2013 tournament in South Africa.
The East Africans may have exited the 2013 AFCON in the group stage, but at least it ended a 21-year hiatus from the tournament.
Ethiopia have prepared for the start of the qualifiers by staging a three-week training camp in Brazil, something coach Mariano Barreto believes has been of great benefit.
“When we decided to go to Brazil it was not only to prepare for the match against Algeria. We have six matches in the qualifying series. The match against Algeria is just one in the series,” Barreto said.
“The basic reason of the mission was to expose the players to the standard of football in Brazil. I’m sure the players really realised their place in the world of football. The difference between Ethiopia and Brazil is extremely wide but the lessons were extremely useful.
“It was a good preparation. The team that played better and we hope it will aid us to the three points against Algeria. The players are likely to display a better football.”
Algeria, currently ranked the top side in Africa alongside Cote d’Ivoire, also crashed out of the 2013 finals in the group phase.
The Fennec Foxes recently confirmed the appointment of new coach Christian Gourcuff, who has taken over from 2014 World Cup hero Vahid Hallihodzic.
The teams have a dead-even head to record, with one win apiece and two draws from their four official matches.
Their most recent meetings were in qualifiers for the 1996 AFCON. The teams played to a goalless draw in Addis Ababa in September 1994, while the return match in Algiers in April 1995 saw the North Africans win 2-0.