Ethiopia Walia Ibex coach Mariano Barreto has made up his mind and after six friendly matches the Portuguese tactician knows the team that he wants to start against Algeria at the National Stadium on Saturday in an Africa Nations Cup Qualifier.
Under former coach Sewnet Bishaw the veterans took the mantle and did not dissapoint but experience Barreto has ensured youth has been blended with the veteran players giving them hope in the national team.
Looking at how the team has been training Soka25east.com has come up with its probable starting 11 against Algeria with an indepth analysis on what could have propelled the move by Mariano with some usual players like Asrat Megersa set to sit out on the bench having had a slow season .
Other players that will most likely start on the bench include Addis Hintsa ,Fadiga and Gentaneh Kebede whose will be brought in to set up pace and speed in the second.
Jemal is the preferred keeper considered to have a safe pair of hands especially at home .Sesay Bancha has always been preferred in away matches but seems Barreto has Jemal fully in his plans for the qualifiers.
Highly talented natural left back.He has maintained his position and has definitely impressed Barreto with his runs that also connect in the midfield while also his positive outlook to defending with precision.
Towering Thok James has been improving game after game and his great performance in the Cecafa senior challenge cup in 2013 in Nairobi .He has never looked back and his confidence at the back four is a sure way he has bought his way into the heart of Barreto who sees him as a vital cog to his defense.
One of the golden generation.Strong,fast and skilful player whose star has been shining.He has curved a niche for himself at the team with his hardwork and no nonsense that has guaranteed him a place in the starting team against Algeria.
Alula Girma :
A solid defender quick on the ball and very aggressive.He has put alot of effort and has competed effectively for the starting jersey.A Player who can join the midfield and spray quality passes for the strikers under pressure.
The youngster is the biggest suprise and is a sure starter against Algeria.He has locked out season players like Asrat Megersa from the starting team because he is that good.His work is cut out for him to repay back the faith shown by coach Barreto to start him against Algeria.
Another suprise inclusion but a young player who has worked hard to deserve a place in the Walia starting team.It is a tall order getting the first game against a top side like Algeria but Tadel has so many suprises in store for the fans when he stands in the middle of the pack .
Veteran Adane Girma has not been resting on his laurels and his contribution to the team has been immense.Making it to the team against Algeria does not come easy with young players also fighting for a place.Ethiopia will count on Adane Girma’s experience to try and neutralise the Dessert Foxes.
Despite being clubless since leaving Sudanese side El Mereikh ,Shemeles Bekele has not shied away from working hard to retain his position.He was instrumental during Ethiopia Walia Ibex tour of Brazil and coach Barreto finds the diminutive midfielder the most creative hub that will be effectively used to supply the strikers with sublime passes and also help neutralise the midfield battle.
King Salhadin Said the all time Ethiopian goal poacher.His move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly has continued to inspire Sala who is the man put incharge of scoring the important goals.Sala has never dissapointed as he has got pace ,awareness and is positive infront of goal as the main striker .A dangerous player Algeria cannot afford to make a plan for .He is Walia’s hope for goals.
Umed Ukwuri was the best player and top scorer last season in the Ethiopian Premier league before the big money move to Al Ittihad Alexandria in Egypt.His goal scoring touch has continued to improve and coach Barreto picks him ahead of Getaneh Kebede who is equally on top form for PSL side Bidvest Wits where he has scored some crucial goals.
FORMATION:4-4-2Ethiopia Probable Starting Line up against Algeria:Keeper- Jemal Tessaw, Defenders:Alula Girma,Salhadin Bargecho,Thok James and Abebaw Butako
Midfielders: Natanael Zelek,Tadel Menegesha,Shemeles Bekele and Adane Girma
Strikers: Salhadin Said and Umed Ukwri
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