(With the World Cup less than four months away it is time to start thinking about the opponents the United States will face when the tournament begins in June. While most American soccer fans know who all of England's top players are, not as much is known about the top players for Algeria and Slovenia.
That is where we are hoping to help. SBI will begin a new series to focus on the performances of Algeria and Slovenia's best players in Europe's top leagues. Each week, we will let you know how these players do so you can track them and become familiar with them ahead of the World Cup. Here is our first installment.)
By FRANCO PANIZO
Algerian forward Rafik Djebbour didn't get on the scoresheet, but he still managed to help AEK Athens maintain their current Europa League spot with a win this weekend.
Djebbour started and played 89 minutes in AEK Athen's 1-0 win over Eddie Johnson, Freddy Adu and Aris Salonika on Sunday. Djebbour's start was his second in fourth-place Athen's last three games, and it helped Athens stay in fourth place in the Greek League.
Slovenian striker Zlatko Dedic and his club, VfL Bochum, aren't fighting for a top spot in their respective league, but they did continue their move away from the relegation zone. Bochum earned a point against Mainz in a scoreless affair that saw Dedic play 69 minutes and earn a yellow card before being subbed off.
Here is how the Algerians and Slovenians Abroad performed this weekend:
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
- Algerian defender Nadir Belhadj started and played 90 minutes in Portsmouth's 2-1 loss vs. Stoke City on Saturday.
- Algerian midfielder Hassan Yebda started and played 66 minutes in Portsmouth's 2-1 loss vs. Stoke City on Saturday.
- Algerian forward Kamel Ghilas did not dress in Hull City's 3-0 loss vs. West Ham United on Saturday.
- Algerian forward Hameur Bouazza came off the bench and played 68 minutes in Blackpool's 2-0 win vs. Reading on Saturday.
- Slovenian defender Suad Filekovic did not dress in Barnsley's 2-0 win vs. Cardiff City on Saturday.
- Slovenian midfielder Robert Koren started and played 61 minutes in West Bromwich Albion's 2-1 loss vs. Bristol City on Sunday.
SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE
- Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra and Rangers' match vs. St Johnstone on Saturday was postponed.
- Algerian defender Ismael Bouzid did not dress in Heart of Midlothian's 2-0 win vs. Hamilton Academical on Sunday.
SPANISH LA LIGA
- Algerian midfielder Mehdi Lacen started and played 90 minutes in Racing Santander's 4-0 loss vs. Barcelona on Saturday.
ITALIAN SERIE A
- Algerian midfielder Abdelkader Ghezzal started, played 60 minutes and received a yellow card in Siena's 0-0 draw vs. Lazio on Saturday.
- Algerian midfielder Mourad Meghni did not dress in Lazio's 0-0 draw vs. Siena on Saturday.
- Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanovic started, played 90 minutes and made two saves in Udinese's 3-0 loss vs. Genoa on Saturday.
- Slovenian defender Bojan Jokic dressed but did not play in Chievo's 1-0 win vs. Atalanta on Sunday.
- Algerian defender Antar Yahia dressed but did not play in VfL Bochum's 0-0 draw vs. Mainz on Saturday.
- Algerian midfielder Karim Matmour came off the bench and played 18 minutes in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 2-2 draw vs. TSG Hoffenheim on Friday.
- Algerian midfielder Karim Ziani did not dress in VfL Wolfsburg's 2-1 win vs. Schalke 04 on Saturday.
- Algerian forward Chadli Amri did not dress in Mainz's 0-0 draw vs. VfL Bochum on Saturday.
- Slovenian forward Milivoje Novakovic started and played 90 minutes in FC Cologne's 5-1 loss vs. VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.
- Slovenian defender Miso Brecko started and played 90 minutes in FC Cologne's 5-1 loss vs. VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.
- Slovenian forward Zlatko Dedic started, played 69 minutes and received a yellow card in VfL Bochum's 0-0 draw vs. Mainz on Saturday.
- Algerian forward Noureddine Daham did not dress in TUS Koblenz's 3-2 loss vs. FC Union Berlin on Friday.
- Slovenian defender Matej Mavric started and played 12 minutes in TUS Koblenz's 3-2 loss vs. FC Union Berlin on Friday.
- Slovenian midfielder Goran Sukalo did not dress in FC Augsburg's 1-0 win vs. Hansa Rostock on Saturday.
FRENCH LIGUE 1
- Algerian midfielder Yazid Mansouri starte and played 60 minutes in Lorient's 1-0 loss vs. Nice on Saturday.
- Slovenian defender Bostjan Cesar started and played 90 minutes in Grenoble's 1-0 loss vs. Valenciennes on Saturday.
- Slovenian forward Valter Birsa and AJ Auxerre's match vs. Bordeaux on Saturday was postponed.
- Slovenian midfielder Dalibor Stevanovic started and played 90 minutes in Vitesse Arnhem's 4-0 loss vs. Ajax Amsterdam on Sunday.
PORTUGUESE LIGA SAGRES
- Algerian defender Rafik Halliche did not dress in CD Nacional Madeira's 1-1 draw vs. Maritimo on Friday.
- Sloveniani midfielder Nejc Pecknik came off the bench and played 45 minutes in CD Nacional de Madeira's 1-1 draw vs. Maritimo on Friday.
GREEK SUPER LEAGUE
- Algerian forward Rafik Djebbour started and played 89 minutes in AEK Athens' 1-0 win vs. Aris Salonika on Sunday.
- Algerian midfielder Salim Arrache did not dress in PAS Giannina's 3-2 loss vs. Panionios on Sunday.
- Slovenian midfielder Aleksander Radosavljevic started and played 90 minutes in Larissa's 2-0 loss vs. Panthrakikos on Sunday.
- Slovenian midfielder Mimes Sisic started and played 90 minutes in PAS Giannina's 3-2 loss vs. Panionios on Sunday.
What do you think of these performances? Any player(s) you're particularly worried about? Think Djebbour is capable of causing havoc to the U.S. backline? Impressed by Dedic a
nd Bochum's result?
Share your thoughts below.