Tunisia vs England - Preview - World Cup 2018

Group G fixture between Tunisia and England

Monday’s action concludes with a clash between Africa’s highest ranked team up against one of the most hyped up teams in the tournament. Tunisia will be looking to do what no African nation has done before and go all the way. First up, it’s a tough challenge against England. The Three Lions are known for bottling their chances at a major tournament – losing to Iceland in their most recent elimination at a big stage. Nothing comes easy at the world stage, and if England are to prove that their young squad is the real deal this time around, they will need to convince everyone from the get-go.

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FIFA World Cup 
Tunisia vs England 
Group G 
Monday 18 June
Volgograd Arena
20:00

To Win 
Tunisia 15/2
Draw 32/10
England 4/10

Tunisia

Tunisia head into the FIFA World Cup with high hopes, fighting for glory as Africa’s highest ranked team. The Eagles of Carthage topped Group A of the African World Cup qualifiers, in not such an easy group, which consisted of Libya, Cedric Bakambu’s DR Congo and a Naby Keita-inspired Guinea.

Youssef Msakni, who was top scorer for Tunisia in the qualifiers with three goals, misses out of the Africans’ World Cup campaign through injury. Much of their chances will now rely on the left boot of Saif-Eddine Khaoui, who plies his trade in the French top flight.

The Tunisians will also have a trick up their sleeves in the form of Wahbi Khazri, who has experience against English opposition after his loan spell at Sunderland the season prior to last. Despite all the power going forward, Tunisia managed to only score 11 goals in six games, with four coming in one match.

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England

With all eyes on England, the Three Lions need to perform under pressure, like they do at every major tournament. Gareth Southgate has opted to go for a much younger squad than usual, including the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

There’s a weird theory doing the rounds, with Pep Guardiola apparently one of the reason’s England have a chance of winning the World Cup. In 2010, he won the league with Barcelona, then Spain go on to win the tournament. In 2014, a similar pattern followed when he won the league in Germany with Bayern Munich, so you see where we’re going here…

One of England’s key men will be a Guardiola-coached star, with Raheem Sterling expected to be pivotal in Southgate’s front three. The 23-year-old scored 18 times for Man City and created 11 assists.

Goals win you games, and should Sterling be unable to provide for his country, they still have 30-goal a season striker, Harry Kane, who will also captain Southgate’s men in Russia.

Probable line-ups:

Tunisia: 4-4-2
Hassen; Nagguez, Benalouane, Meriah, Haddadi; Badri, Skhiri, Sassi, Khazri; Khaoui, Khalifa.

England: 3-4-2-1
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Jones; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Dier, Rose; Alli, Sterling; Kane.

Prediction: Draw (32/10)
Like I’ve mentioned before, nothing comes easy at the world stage, and this will certainly not be a straightforward fixture for England. Tunisia are the highest ranked team in Africa, which should speak volumes as they don’t have a Mohamed Salah or a Sadio Mane in their squad. They’re not even coached by a Herve Renard. Upsets do happen in the FIFA World Cup, and my mind says this one ends in a draw.

Written by Jesse Nagel

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