Algiers, Algeria – Algerian midfielder Saphir Taïder has been ruled out of the Africa Cup of Nations with a recurring knee injury and will be replaced by Ismail Bennacer.
The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) said 19-year-old Arsenal midfielder Bennacer will arrive in Algiers on Thursday before flying to Gabon for their tournament opener on Sunday against Zimbabwe.
Taïder, who was born in France and currently plays for Italian Serie A side Bologna, aggravated a previous injury during training. Algeria defender Ramy Bensebaini is also currently nursing a niggling knee problem.
Algeria are drawn in Group B with Tunisia, Senegal and Zimbabwe, with the top two advancing to the quarter-finals.