BILDA – The battle for the final 2014 World Cup ticket from Africa will be decided Tuesday night between hosts Algeria and Burkina Faso at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida, where Algeria have not lost in 19 matches since 2002.
In June, at the same venue, Algeria beat Burkina Faso 2-0 in a friendly.
However, this time Burkina Faso take a 3-2 win from the first encounter in Ouagadougou last month and are desperate for a place in a first final.
Algeria are favoured to win, but ex-skipper Anthar Yahia has warned that this match can only be won or lost on the pitch and not on the pages of newspapers.
"Algeria will be the favourites to win going by their record against Burkina Faso. This is what the media have suggested, but the most important thing is really what happens on the pitch," said Esperance of Tunisia defender Yahia.
"Burkina Faso reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations and they have proved to be a very good team. They only need a draw to qualify and so it could be difficult for Algeria, who also need to be cautious when going forward."
Bosnian coach Vahid Halihodzic has said Algeria were undone by biased officiating in Burkina Faso, but he is confident he has an attack capable of overturning the loss in Ouagadougou.
The Stallions of Burkina have been boosted with the return from injury of their talisman Alain Traore, who missed last month's first leg.
The class of the 24-year-old striker is not in doubt as he proved at the last Nations Cup in South Africa, but his promising career has often been dogged by injuries. – Agencies