Milan’s Bennacer back in Algeria squad for Africa Cup of Nations


AC Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer is back in the Algeria squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time after undergoing knee surgery in May.

Bennacer returned to league action with Milan earlier this month after nearly seven months recovering from surgery on a cartilage injury to his right knee sustained during last season’s Champions League semifinals.

The 26-year-old last played for Algeria in the Nations Cup qualifiers in March.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi also picked Al-Ahli forward Riyad Mahrez, Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Rayan Ait Nouri and AS Roma midfielder Houssem Aouar, who has been sidelined due to muscular pain.

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West Ham’s winger Said Benrahma, named in Algeria’s preliminary list last week, was dropped from the final 26-man squad announced on Friday.

Algeria kicks off its Nations Cup finals campaign against Group D opponents Angola on Jan. 15 before taking on Burkina Faso and Mauritania.


Goalkeepers: Anthony Mandrea (SM Caen), Rais Mbolhi(CR Belouizdad), Oussama Benbot (USM Alger)

Defenders: Youcef Atal (Nice), Kevin Guitoun (Metz), Rayan Ait Nouri (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Yasser Larouci (Sheffield United), Aissa Mandi (Villarreal), Mohamed Tougai (Esperance Tunis), Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Dortmund), Ahmed Touba (US Lecce), Zineddine Belaid (USM Alger)

Midfielders: Nabil Bentaleb (Lille), Sofiane Feghouli (Fatih Karagumruk), Houssem Aouar (AS Roma), Fares Chaibi (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ramiz Zerrouki (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Hicham Boudaoui (Nice), Ismael Bennacer (AC Milan)

Forwards: Riyad Mahrez (Al-Ahli), Adam Ounas (Lille), Mohamed Amoura (Union Saint-Gilloise), Amine Gouiri (Stade Rennais), Youcef Belaili (MC Alger), Baghdad Bounedjah (Al-Sadd), Islam Slimani (Coritiba)

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