Tunisia go into this summer’s World Cup as one of the many rank outsiders. This is the first time in twelve years they will be competing in the most prestigious competition international football has to offer. Nabil Maâloul’s men were absent for both South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 after failing to qualify, so will be out to prove themselves this year in Russia. Tunisia endured a solid qualifying campaign to earn a spot at this summers World Cup, they won four and drew two of their six games to win Group A ahead of Congo DR, Libya and Guinea, so travel to Russia with some good momentum.
So how well have they faired in the past?
Since achieving independence from France in 1956, Tunisia have only appeared in four World Cups, so are fairly inexperienced when it comes to competing on the international main stage. The North African country, which has a population of 11.4 million are not expected to progress past the group stage this summer. They’ve been drawn in a strong group consisting of England, Panama and Belgium, so will surprise everyone if they qualify for the knockout stages when they are introduced to the fold at the end of June.Despite being firm underdogs for their fixtures against England and Belgium, Tunisia will fancy their chances against the groups lowest ranked team, Panama. The South American’s are, like Tunisia, much weaker in comparison to the groups two more elite sides. With that said, it looks like the only hope they’ll have of getting any points on the board this summer is if they can overcome Panama when the two face each other in Group G.
Tips for Tunisia
Tunisia have failed to make it past the group stage in the previous four World Cup finals they’ve featured in. They’ve been drawn in an extremely strong group this summer, so it’s going to be an incredibly tall order for them to qualify for the knockout stages in Russia. They’re currently priced at odds of 750/1 to lift the World Cup come the end of July, so if you fancy having a punt on a complete outsider.. then maybe re-think it. The history books don’t bode well for Nabil Maâloul’s men, their squad is nowhere near as strong as most of the other nations featuring in this years competition, so it’ll take more than a miracle for them to win the whole thing.Tunisia priced at odds of 25/1 to do the unthinkable and win Group G, while they’re 5/1 just to qualify, which completely dwarfs both England (1/8) and Belgiums (1/12) odds. A good bet for Tunisia could be for them to finish in third place, that’s priced at 5/6 with SkyBet and seems very achievable!
Tunisia’s World Cup squad
Tunisia have just one recognised footballer within their ranks – Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri, currently on loan to French side Rennes. The 26-year-old is the only member of Tunisia’s squad to carry some form of reputation within the game after a less than underwhelming season in the Premier League, where he scored just three goals in thirty-eight appearances for the Black Cats. Striker Yoann Touzghar (Auxerre), midfielder Bassem Srarfi (OGC Nice) and defenders Oussama Haddadi (FC Dijon) & Syam Ben Youssef (Kasımpaşa S.K.) are the only other members of Tunisia’s team to play for clubs in Europe, making them one of the most inexperienced squads to feature in this years competition.
Tunisia’s World Cup Fixtures
Click on the fixtures below for more up to date match information, odds and betting details.
Tunisia V England, Monday 18th June – Volgograd, 7 pm
Tunisia V Belgium, Saturday 23rd June – Moscow (Spartak), 1 pm
Tunisia V Panama, Thursday 28th June – Saransk, 7pm