Algeria face Ghana in the African Cup of Nations this week.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nabil Bentaleb is currently away on international duty with Algeria. The youngster is representing his club at the AFCON in Equatorial Guinea. In Algeria's first game they defeated South Africa 3-1 and they are also the favourites after their impressive World Cup in Brazil.
But their next game against Ghana is causing quite a stir. Ghana lost to Senegal in the opening game 2-1 and that means the Algeria tie is something of a must win for the Black Stars. Andre Ayew of Marseille knows this, and this week has reportedly insisted Ghana can beat Algeria. Bentaleb has responded to the wingers comments. Speaking in a press conference the Spurs man as quoted by Goal as stating:
“It will be a very difficult game. We will have to stay focused and keep the same mindset displayed against South Africa. We know we can do better.
“Ayew is allowed to speak. He can say what he wants. We only focus on ourselves and we do not give importance to others. We know that it is the pitch which will decide.”
Ayew stated earlier in the week, as quoted by Citi FM, that Ghana could turn things around. Although his comments were not that controversial:
”"We need to show good team spirit and we do not have to keep our head down. I am very confident in the second game. Yes, we are disappointed in the way we lost but we know we have the quality to do better in the next match.”
But Bentaleb felt compelled to put Ayew in his spot, the Tottenham player perhaps engaging in a spot of gamesmanship.
But what is interesting about the tiff is that Ayew is heavily linked with a move to Tottenham. The Ghanaian is out of contract in the summer and Le10 Sport recently stated that Tottenham were in advanced talks to sign the player.
Which will certainly be interesting considering the events of this week.