Tunisia vs England
FIFA World Cup 2018 Group G
Date: Monday, 18 June 2018
Kick-Off at 19:00 UK / 20:00 CET
Venue: Volgograd Arena, Volgograd.
England will lock horns with Tunisia in their initial fixture of the World Cup in Russia. The clash is set to be played on Monday, June 18th and the venue is Volgograd Arena with the capacity of just over 45.000.
- England are unbeaten in ten straight outings which saw them win seven and draw three in the process.
- They conceded just twice in last eight games.
- Tunisia will miss their star man Youssef Msakni whose absence significantly affected their ambitions in Russia.
- Harry Kane should lead the line for England after skipping the final warm-up against Costa Rica at Elland Road.
Tunisia vs England Match Preview
England enter the tournament low on expectations, just as it had been the case four years ago in Brazil. However, the same destiny (a group stage exit) would be a massive catastrophe for the Three Lions here given they simply need to make it to the knockout stage past the likes of Tunisia and Panama.
A win in the opening fixture against the African hopefuls would be a massive relief to Gareth Southgate and there are no doubts England will give their best to make it count on Monday in Volgograd.
The Three Lions indeed had disappointing campaigns in back-to-back majors. The group phase exit from the World Cup in Brazil was followed by the shocking R16 loss to Iceland at EURO 2016 in France.
Can Gareth Southgate’s term finally make the difference? Even though English squad does not appear to be a match for the world-class sides of France, Brazil, Spain, Germany or even Belgium, Southgate has reasons to be optimistic ahead of the trip to Russia knowing that his men are on a ten-game unbeaten run which saw the Three Lions play the likes of Germany, Brazil, Netherlands and Italy in the process.
The Eagles of Carthage enjoyed a remarkable campaign in qualifications topping the Group A of the final round in the African zone. They clinched four wins and two draws in six affairs with Congo DR, Libya and Guinea conceding just four times in the process.
The first match of Group G will see a free scoring Belgium take on the new boys Panama.
Tunisia vs England Team News & Predicted Starting Line-ups
Tunisia Team News
Maaloul, who is enjoying his third spell as Tunisia’s manager, will have huge problems with the squad fitness in Russia.
Apart from the absence of his star man Youssef Msakni, important first team regulars Ali Maaloul, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor and Ghaylene Chaalali were all dealt with injuries and could get limits in the number of minutes on the pitch here.
All eyes will be on Wahbi Khazri who bagged nine goals in a successful campaign on loan at Rennes in Ligue 1.
Tunisia Predicted Starting Eleven (4-2-3-1)
Hassen – Ben Youssef, Meriah, Maaloul, Bedoui – Sassi, Ben Amor – Skhiri, Silti, Badri – Khazri.
England Team News
Harry Kane had a slight ankle injury which left him sidelined in the 2-0 victory over Costa Rica in the last warm-up ahead of the World Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur talisman will make the starting line-up in the tournament opener, though.
Marcus Rashford bagged a beautiful opener from outside the box in the mentioned victory and he will likely get some minutes.
Gareth Southgate will stick to his 3-5-2 (3-5-1-1) formation which brought him fantastic results in both the qualifying process and friendlies.
England Predicted Starting Eleven (3-5-2)
Pickford – Walker, Stones, Cahill,– Trippier, Dier, Alli, Lingard/Rashford – Sterling, Kane.
Tunisia vs England Head-to-head
- The two nations met each other two times in the past.
- The first clash saw them play a 1-1 draw in a friendly back in 1990.
- The second was a much more important one as England took a comfortable 2-0 victory in the group stage of the World Cup 1998 in France.
Tunisia vs England Predictions
Tunisia’s World Cup ambitions suffered a massive blow when Youssef Msakni was dismissed with a cruciate ligament injury. Al Duhail’s (Qatar) striker had the essential role in carrying the team towards the top spot in their respective qualifying group scoring three goals in six games. The head coach Nabil Maaloul best described the importance of such absence by comparing it to Argentina’s ambitions without Lionel Messi in the squad.
Tunisia would have not been genuine contenders even with Msakni in their ranks, but they will be even greater underdogs in such circumstances. However, Maaloul still has reasons for optimism ahead of the opening clash with England knowing that his men offered a strong resistance to the likes of Portugal and Spain in recent friendlies. The Lions of Carthage held the reigning European champions Portugal to a 2-2 draw in March, while they only lost 1-0 to Spain in the final test before the World Cup.
Tunisia were nowhere near scoring a goal against La Furia Roja and we can hardly imagine them being dangerous in the final third here. England improved their defensive displays significantly under Gareth Southgate recently. The Three Lions conceded only two goals in last eight internationals and we will back them to keep a clean sheet here as the main betting option at the 1.66 odds.
Harry Kane should be fit to make the starting line-up for England. He had a remarkable campaign with Tottenham Hotspur in last two seasons scoring 38 and 45 goals respectively. He is our top suggestion for the anytime goal scorer at 1.85.
Predicted Full-Time Result is a clean sheet win for England in a tight affair as we don’t expect to witness a goal gest on the day.
Tunisia vs England Betting Tips
- England to keep a clean sheet @ 1.66.
- Harry Kane to score anytime @ 1.85.
- Correct FT Score: 2-0 England @ 5.50.