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Tunisia coach Alain Giresse defends taking depleted squad for Algeria friendly

Algeria host Tunisia in an international friendly match in Blida on Tuesday.

Tunisia coach Alain Giresse said he is not much concerned that he will field a depleted side in the international friendly match against Algeria.

After beating Eswatini 4-0 in their last Afcon qualifier at home last weekend, Giresse has released Esperance players from national team camp to prepare for Friday’s Caf Super Cup against Raja Casablanca.

Star forward Youssef Msakni sustained a knee injury towards the end of their match against Eswatini.

This leaves Tunisia taking a weakened squad to face a strong Algeria squad featuring key players who were rested in their final Afcon qualifier against Gambia last Friday. 

“Tuesday’s friendly match makes it possible to see all our players at work. But the difference is that for us, it will be the opposite. I already have five players who left camp after the (Afcon qualifying) match against Eswatini and in addition to the three injured ones,” Giresse told Le Buteur.

“So for me, already eight players will be absent this Tuesday. Algeria turned its squad for their first game (against Gambia) and I will do that for our second match.

“It will be a good friendly test and obviously, we will be especially focused on the preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations.”

Algeria, however, has released Youssef Belaili to be with his club Esperance in preparation for the Super Cup.