Written By Uche Dozie
One of Africa’s representatives, Tunisia takes part in her sixth World Cup tournament in Qatar after featuring in 1978 becoming the first African team to win in Argentina after a 3-1 victory over Mexico but still couldn’t qualify from the group.
The unfortunate trend of not making it out of the group stage of the World Cup continued in 1998 in France, 2002 in South Korea/Japan, 2006 in Germany and mostly recently 2018 in Russia.
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A stigma the team will seek to put far away from them when the 2022 World Cup begins in Qatar by the 20th November.
A team with a blend of home players and foreign based players, Tunisia’s strength lies in their disciplined midfield and their ability to play as a unit. An attribute that should be expected by the spectators.
However, the team has not been known to score too much. They scored 13 goals on their way to qualifying for the Mundial in Qatar.
The African team has quite a task ahead of them with defending champions, France, giant killers, Denmark and Australia in group D.
However, you cannot rule out this team whose strength lies in playing as a unit and not with a player or few individuals.
Though the Eagles are not in the reckoning of many analysts or bookies to make it out of this group, a well manged Tunisian side can spring a surprise if decent results are garnered against France and Denmarkin addition to a win against Australia.
Well, the above assertion seems a wish for now as the North Africans are still the least likely team to qualify in this group.
A department that has gone through changes in recent times as the man at the helm of affairs right now, Jalel Kadri was appointed as Coach in January to prosecute the world qualifier against Mali which he managed to achieve.
He replaced Mondher Kebaier as Tunisia’s Head Coach earlier this year. Though he has been involved in the country’s international set-up for a year before that.
Kadri is not a high profile coach and doesn’t have the experience of being involved iwith the senior side, a challenge that may be the undoing of the Eagles.
Players To Watch
32-year-old Youssef Msakni is your go to man for goals for Tunisia. His experience playing for the team for over 84 games scoring 17 times could prove useful if they’re to stand any chance of making it through the group stages.
Missing the last world due to injury, Msakni is seeking to light up the World Cup in Qatar where he also plays his club football .
Whabi Khazri is another experienced player with this being his second World Cup. He is the highest goal scorer for the team in the World Cup with two goals.
Khazri, 31 who plays for Montpelier in France is currently ranked second in the Carthage Eagles’ list of top scorers through the ages, having scored 24 goals in 70 international matches since his first appearance in 2013.
November 22: Denmark Vs Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
November 26: Tunisia Vs Australia – Al Janub Stadium, Al Wakra
November 30: Tunisia Vs France – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan.
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