The Fennec Foxes and Group E rivals Ivory Coast are expected to seal the two automatic qualification spots for the last-16 but an unfamiliar Sierra Leone side will hope to spring an upset in Cameroon.
John Keister’s squad boasts only six players who have earned ten or more caps and the country has only made it to two previous AFCONs, yet were hard to beat in a qualification campaign that once saw them recover from 4-0 down to draw at Nigeria.
However, few countries at this year’s tournament can boast the star power or winning pedigree of Algeria.
The Arab Cup champions went undefeated in 2021 and brushed aside Ghana 3-0 in a pre-tournament friendly.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Algeria vs Sierra Leone is scheduled for a 1pm GMT kick-off on Tuesday January 11, 2022.
Japoma Stadium in Douala will host the match.
Where to watch Algeria vs Sierra Leone
TV channel: The match will be televised on Sky Sports Premier League and Football, with coverage beginning at 12.55pm.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the Sky Go app.
Live blog: You can follow up-to-the-minute updates from the match with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog.
Algeria vs Sierra Leone team news
Djamel Belmadi left both Rachid Ghezzal and Andy Delort out of his squad for the tournament but Algeria are not lacking in striking options.
West Ham winger Said Benrahma may have to settle for a place on the bench with Al Sadd striker Baghdad Bounedjah flanked by Youcef Belaïli and Riyad Mahrez.
For Sierra Leone, ex-England international Steven Caulker should start at the back in a team featuring QPR right-back Osman Kakay and veteran striker Kei Kamara, who has featured for the likes of Norwich, Middlesbrough and most recently Finnish side HIFK.
Algeria vs Sierra Leone prediction
Algeria will be out to start the defence of their crown with a bang and their opponents may be powerless to stop them.
Algeria to win, 4-0.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
The two teams have not met since a 2-0 victory for Algeria in the 1996 Cup of Nations.
Algeria wins: 2
Sierra Leone wins: 1