Two sides without much international history will face in a very unpredictable playoff, as the winner will qualify for the World Cup to be played next year in Brazil.
Out of the two teams, however, Algeria is definitively the most successful side. They already participated in the 1982 and 1986 World Cup and were also able to qualify to the tournament in South Africa last year, although they weren’t able to secure a win four years ago. Burkina Faso, on the other hand, is looking for their first World Cup berth in their history after an impressive 2013 African Cup run that saw them reach the Final.
Algeria has some notable players on some European top leagues, including Mehdi Lacen, Hassan Yebda and Yacine Brahimi all playing in Spain. No one is more important, however, than attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli who currently plays for Valencia. Most of Algeria attacking efforts will be born, and could possibly end, with him starring.
Burkina Faso also have some key players of their own, most notably striker Aristide Bancé, who’s a regular fixture in Fortuna Düsseldorf’s lineup. Defender Bakary Koné plays for Olympique Lyon and Charles Kaboré does it for Russian side Kuban Krasnodar but after them there’s not many international experience in the squad.
Prediction: Burkina Faso 1-2 Algeria
The hosts will rely on their fans to get a positive result, but Algeria will be too much to handle for a very anxious Burkina Faso side that will try to take a big step towards their first World Cup qualification.