Algeria will have to do without injured defender Madjid Bougherra when they host North African rivals Morocco in the 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers on Sunday.
The combative centre back will not be able to take part in the game after failing to shrug off a hamstring injury he picked up while playing for his Scottish club Rangers in the Old Firm derby against Celtic last weekend, according to local paper El-Heddaf.
Bougherra is an integral member of Algeria’s national team, which is known for its resolute defence.
He was part of the Desert Foxes’ squad which played in last year’s World Cup in South Africa, where they bowed out at the group stage.
Playmaker Karim Ziani should be fit to play against Morocco, however, after recovering from a hamstring complaint.
Reports said Algeria coach Abdelhak Benchikha could field Ziani on the right flank instead of his usual position behind the strike duo.
Algeria lie at the bottom of Group D with one point from two matches, three behind second-placed Morocco. Central African Republic top the group with four points.
The leaders of the eleven groups and the best two runners-up will qualify for next year’s Nations Cup finals, which will take place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.