Nations Cup 2015: Abeid and Belkalem out of Algeria squad

Mehdi Abeid
Newcastle midfielder Mehdi Abeid has had loan spells at St Johnstone and Panathinaikos

Algeria have confirmed that their Newcastle midfielder Mehdi Abeid (pictured) and Trabzonspor defender Essaid Belkalem have been ruled out of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations because of injury.

Abeid, 22, has a toe injury and Trabzonspor defender Essaïd Belkalem is out with a hamstring problem.

Both players were called up by Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff in his final squad for the Nations Cup, which kicks off on 17 January in Equatorial Guinea.

Algeria's games at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations
19 January: v South Africa in Mongomo
23 January: v Ghana in Mongomo
27 January: v Senegal in Malabo

Abeid, who featured for Algeria in Olympic qualifying in 2011, was one of five changes to Algeria's 23-man World Cup party. Ishak Belfodil, Foued Kadir, goalkeeper Doukha Izzeddine and Mehdi Zeffane were also brought in.

Uncapped Metz midfielder Ahmed Kashi has been brought in to replace Abeid, with Osasuna's Liassine Cadamuro coming in for Belkalem.

BBC African Footballer of the Year Yacine Brahimi has also been included, as well as veteran defender Madjid Bougherra.

But goalkeeper Cedric Si Mohamed, Hassan Yebda and Nabil Ghilas were left out by Gourcuff, despite having been part of the World Cup squad that reached the last 16 for the first time in Brazil last summer.

The Algerians are in Group C at the 2015 Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea with Ghana, Senegal and South Africa for the 17 January to 8 February finals.

Algeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Rais Mbolhi (Philadelphia Union, USA)), Doukha Izzeddine (JS Kabylie) Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche (USM Alger).

Defenders: Madjid Bougherra (Fujaira, UAE), Liassine Cadamuro (Osasuna, France), Faouzi Ghoualm (Napoli, Italy), Rafik Halliche (SC Qatar, Qatar), Aissa Mandi (Stade Reims, France), Carl Medjani (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Djamel Mesbah (Sampdoria, Italy), Mehdi Zeffane (Lyon, France)

Midfielders: Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham, England), Yacine Brahimi (Porto, Portugal), Medhi Lacen (Getafe, Spain), Ahmed Kashi (Metz, France), Saphir Taider (Sassuolo, Italy), Foued Kadir (Real Betis, Spain)

Forwards: Abdelmoumene Djabou (Club Africain, Tunisia), Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia, Spain), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City, England), Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Hilal Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia), Ishak Belfodil (Parma, Italy)

Reserves: Adlene Guedioura Adlane (Watford, England), Mehdi Mostefa (Lorient, France), Walid Mesloub (Lorient, France), Ryad Boudebouz (SC Bastia, France), Baghdad Bounedjah (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia)

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