World Cup Beckons For Mahrez

Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez has played his way into Algeria’s final 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil following an official announcement on Monday.
The 23-year-old was named in the provisional 30-man squad earlier this month and shone for the Fennec Foxes on his debut in a 3-1 win over Armenia at the weekend, setting up the second goal. 

That was enough to convince Algeria boss Vahid Halilhodzic to include him in the final group of 23 that will head out to Geneva for a friendly with Romania before making the trip to Brazil for the World Cup finals. 

Following Algeria’s 3-1 win over Armenia, Halilhodzic told media: "Mahrez had an excellent match. He showed that he is a player who can make a difference, even without the ball. 

"He is someone who is not only technical but also a physical force. In the build-up to the second goal, he eliminated his opponents with ease before setting up Nabil Ghilas, who scored the second goal." 

Mahrez joined the Foxes from French Ligue 2 side Le Havre in January, and has since put in a series of impressive displays from the flank to convince national team boss Halilhodzic to consider him for inclusion for the World Cup in Brazil. 

The Fennec Foxes have been drawn in Group H for the tournament alongside Belgium, Russia and South Korea, with a friendly against Romania in Geneva scheduled before that on 4 June as a warm-up. 

If Mahrez and his team-mates progress from Group H, they will face either the winners or runners-up from Group G, which includes Portugal, Ghana, USA and Germany.

Mahrez's selection means he could become the first Leicester City player to feature at a World Cup for 12 years, since Muzzy Izzet reached the semi-finals with Turkey in 2002.

Algeria Group H World Cup Schedule: 

Belgium vs. Algeria | Tuesday 17 June | 5pm KO

South Korea vs. Algeria | Sunday 22 June | 8pm KO

Algeria vs. Russia | Thursday 26 June | 9pm KO

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