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Russia 2018: Tunisia under the spotlight

By Mutala Yakubu
Russia 2018: Tunisia under the spotlight
Russia 2018: Tunisia under the spotlight

The Cartage Eagles of Tunisia are set to light up Russia 2018 in grand style.

Tunisia plays one of the best football on the African continent and are currently the number one team in Africa according to the FIFA Rankings.

After a 12-year absence, Tunisia are back at a World Cup but their path was not entirely straight.

Coach Nabil Maâloul did an incredible job to qualify the North Africans back to the World Cup.

Tunisia have an exciting squad and one that fights until the end.

They will have to cope without their starman Yousef Msakni who will miss the World Vup due to injury.

This would be the fifth World Cup for Tunisia having played in the 1978, 1988, 2000 and 2006 editions.

Let's take a closer look at Tunisia.

Tunisia are in Group G of Russia 2018They are in Group G together with Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England.


 Nabil Maâloul will coach Tunisia at Russia 2018Nabil Maâloul is a former Tunisian footballer and the current coach of Tunisia.

Most of his career he played for his home club, ES Tunis and won with it a historic treble as a coach in 2011 (League, Cup and CAF Champions League).

In 2002, he became assistant coach of Roger Lemerre when Tunisia won 2004 African Cup of Nations.

He will guide Tunisia to Russia 2018.

Star players:

Wahbi Khazri plays for Ligue 1 club Rennes on loan from Sunderland, he is a setpiece expert.

He represented France at Youth level but opted to play for Tunisia.

He will be key to the Tunisian midfield in Russia 2018.


The best thing about them

Tunisia will play exciting football at Russia 2018Tunisia plays a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The full-backs are encouraged to attack and on the left Ali Maâloul of Al Ahly is key because of how much he contributes going forward.

The midfield are dominated by two hard-working ball-winners in Ferjani Sassi and Mohamed Amine Ben Amor.


 More than 5,000 Tunisia fans have bought tickets for the tournament in Russia amid fears issues will follow them to the footie bonanza.

The worst thing about them

All the Tunisian players are inexperience going into Russia 2018Scan through the Tunisia side and there are few recognisable names to the casual European football fan. That is because their squad is made up of players who play their club football in Tunisia.

Read also:2018 FIFA World Cup: Here's an overview of the African Countries representing the continent

And while it would be wrong to underestimate the league, it will mean Tunisia will have a side in Russia that is inexperienced against top quality opposition. That is likely to be telling.

Here is Tunisia's Preliminary 29 -man squad:

Tunisia team for Russia 2018Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Moez Hassen (Chateauroux, France), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten, Saudi Arabia)

Defenders: Rami Bedoui (Etoile du Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City, England), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Dylan Bronn (Gent, Belgium), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon, France), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly, Egypt), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek, Egypt)

Midfielders: Anice Badri (Esperance), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahli Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Ghaylene Chaalali (Esperance), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Saifeddine Khaoui (Troyes, France), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier, France), Naim Sliti (Dijon, France), Bassem Srarfi (Nice, France).

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