Sunday 17 June 2018
World Cup 2018: Tunisia v England
On paper, it sounds like an easy game. England fans will know, though, that’s not often the case.
With star man Youssef Msakni out for the long-term, Tunisia have turned their eyes elsewhere for inspiration. In Naim Sliti and Anice Badri, they have two options who might be able to offer something else instead. In midfield, we expect to see Ferjani Sassi and Ellyes Skhiri start together, with Saif-Eddine Khaoui in behind Fakhreddine Youssef.
In defence, we expect to see Syam Ben Youssef and Yassoune Meriah line up together for the Tunisians in what is a solid, strong line-up.
With the rumour that Jordan Henderson will get the nod ahead of Erci Dier, we might see a Hendrson and Dele Alli midfield partnership. Jesse Lingard is expected to play in behind Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, with the two forward offering a decent tandem partnership up top.
Ashley Young and Kieran Trippier will be expected to provide the width, with Kyle Walker playing as a third center-back at present for club and country. John Stones and Harry Maguire will likely take the other two defensive spots.
Jack Butland looks set to sit out for Jordan Pickford in goals.
Hard one to call. Tunisia, on paper, are the kind of team that England should dismiss. They are, however, a decent outfit and any complacency will be strongly punished. We expect an England win, but for the Three Lions to make extra hard work of it – don’t they always?