Algeria defender Ramy Bensebaini admits “all games are tough” as the defending champions prepare for the final AFCON qualifying matches.

The Desert Foxes – who have already qualified for the tournament in Cameroon – play Zambia on 25th March in Lusaka, before ending their campaign at home against Botswana.

Bensebaini, who plays his domestic football in Germany with Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach, said it will not be an easy end to the group as all 3 of the other teams are fighting for the 2nd qualification spot in Group H that the Algerians are a part of.

“We are aware that it won’t be easy – all games will be tough to play” he said.

“We all know that in Africa, there are no weak teams or average teams. They all have a good level.”

Bensebaini praised his team saying that they are a “good squad of real players” as they will begin their quest to defend their AFCON title they won in Egypt in 2019 after beating Senegal in the final.

Ramy Bensebaini

Ramy Bensebaini is one of Algeria’s best players. (Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images)

If Algeria does retain the crown then it will be the first time a team has retained the trophy since Egypt did so back in 2010.

“Before the last AFCON, nobody was expecting us [to win] – and we still delivered,” he said.

“We beat Senegal twice, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Guinea. Those games were not easy at all.

“All the games to come will be difficult, but it’s up to us to be mentally strong. We meant to go through each round and win this third AFCON.”

He added that Algeria remain “hungry” on the pitch despite their recent success.

“We never give up, so it’s hard to beat us.

“We are ready for the battle.”

Algeria have gone unbeaten in their qualifying games having won 3 and drawn 1. They sit on top of the Group H with 10 points followed by Zimbabwe in 2nd with 5, Botswana with 4 and Zambia with 3.