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Tunisia in a must win game against World Champions France

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Tunisia have taken one point from their two games and have yet to score. The 1-0 defeat to Australia on Saturday was a major blow to their hopes of advancing, and they must beat France to stand any chance.

Tunisia   sit bottom of the standings and must overcome the reigning champions to stand any chance of making it through to the knockout stages.

Still waiting for their first goal of the 2022 edition, Tunisia are on the brink of an early exit from the globe’s biggest footballing tournament after coming up short in a 1-0 loss to Australia on Saturday, which saw the Socceroos leapfrog their fellow Group D rivals in the standings.

Even if Jalel Kadri’s   side  stun the world champions and secure all three points on Wednesday, Australia will progress to the last 16 with a win over Denmark, but anything less than victory for the Socceroos will open the door for Tunisia to pounce.

In keeping with the theme of defensive resilience in the lead-up to the  World Cup posting seven clean sheets from eight games before Qatar – Tunisia have only conceded the one goal across 180 minutes of football, but they are one of just two teams still without a goal at the correct end after two matches – the other being Mexico.

The Eagles of Carthage can take some encouragement in the fact that their side have never gone through an entire World Cup campaign without scoring before, and France may just take their foot off the gas slightly with qualification already in the bag.

Coach Jalel Kadri is also considering changes in a bid to improve their creativity.

He said: “We lost a crucial match, but we will give everything we have in the last game.

“We don’t change the team for the sake of changing, but we make adjustments to adapt to the way the rival teams play. We will analyse our performance and fix our mistakes.”

Didier Deschamps may opt to rest some of his key players for Wednesday’s clash against Tunisia with France already through to the knockout stages of the World Cup.

Wins against Australia and Denmark mean the defending champions are almost guaranteed to finish top of Group D and, with such a packed schedule, Deschamps has the luxury of being able to leave out the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann.

Les Bleus had Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku ruled out before the tournament started while first-choice left-back Lucas Hernandez lasted just 13 minutes of their opening game against the Socceroos before sustaining a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, and Deschamps seems unlikely to risk more of his star men.

Hernandez has been replaced by his brother Theo, although he too may be left out against Tunisia given the lack of depth on the left side of defence.

That could mean Jules Kounde makes the move across from right-back, something the Barcelona defender would be willing to do.

Kounde said: “It’s another chance to play in the France team. I’ve always tried to do my best and play with a lot of desire.

“Left-back would be another position. I think I’ve played it once, we’ll see what the coach decides.”

Kounde got the nod at right-back against Denmark in place of Benjamin Pavard, who started France’s opener against Australia.

“It’s healthy competition,” Kounde said of his battle with the Bayern Munich man. “We try to bring the maximum when we play. I have to bring more offensively and improve technically.”

 

Players to Watch

France: Ousmane Dembele

Mbappe and Giroud may have stolen the headlines but Dembele has been a revelation down the right side of France’s attack.

Only four players have created more chances over the first two matchdays while only Argentina’s Angel Di Maria has made more successful dribbles.

Tunisia: Youssef Msakni

Although Tunisia were largely disappointing against the Socceroos, Msakni had a fine game. The Al Arabi attacker had six shots against Australia, the most ever by a Tunisia player in a single World Cup match.

If Tunisia are to cause a stunning upset, his partnership with Issam Jebali will be key.



Ex- CAF Media Expert.
An expert on African football with over 15 years experience ,always with an ear to the ground with indepth knowledge of the game.

I have worked for top publications including 7 years at www.supersport.com until i founded www.soka25east.com to quench the thirst of football lovers across the continent.

I have trained young upcoming journalists who are now a voice in African football.I have covered World Cup,AFCON,CHAN,Champions League,Confederations Cup,Cecafa,Cosafa,Wafu and many other football tournaments across the World.

Founder Football Africa Arena(FAA),Founder www.afrisportdigital.com




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