France has been, so far, the only consistently elite team of this World Cup. The Tricolores have already qualified for the knockout stage and will clinch the top spot with a draw in this Tunisia vs France game. For their opponents, this is an absolute must-win, if they are to continue their World Cup journey.
If the Tunisians fail to win this match, they are automatically out. But even a victory might not be enough. In order for them to move to the next phase, they need a draw in the other match of the group, Australia vs Denmark, or a Danish win by fewer goals than those of the Tunisian victory over France.
Tunisia vs France
Date: 30 November 2022
Time: 15:00 (GMT)
Venue: Education City Stadium (Al Rayyan)
Tunisia competes in the World Cup for the sixth time and has never managed to get out of the group stage. But a win over France will be celebrated regardless of whether it leads to qualification or not. The country won independence from France on 20 March 1956, but the ties between the two countries are still rather strong, as is evident by the fact ten players in the Tunisia squad were born in France. Wahbi Khazri and Hannibal Mejbri have actually represented France at a youth level.
There has been a lot of discussion in Tunisia surrounding coach Jalel Kadri’s choices. In particular, fans are unpleased by the lack of playing time Wahbi Khazri, Tunisia’s second all-time scorer has received. Khazri has only made one appearance, as a sub. The team hasn’t scored a single goal yet, so the Montpellier striker could find himself starting against a country whose shirt he wore at a U21 level.
Starting right-back, Mohamed Drager was injured in the game against Australia and Wajdi Kechrida will most likely get the start.
France’s manager Didier Deschamps will make changes. Lots of them. He will rest all his starters. All but Kylian Mbappe, who demanded to start again, in order to continue his hunt for both the Golden Shoe and the Golden Ball of the World Cup, the awards for the top scorer and best player of the tournament respectively.
Lucas Hernandez is the only solidified left-back left in the roster, after his brother, Theo, got injured. Eduardo Cavavinga will be used in the position. The Real Madrid midfielder has been used as an emergency left-back at a club level.
The most unlucky of all is Alphonse Areola, who is the number two option at the goalkeeper position, but picked up a knock during training and will probably lose the chance to play in the World Cup, to Steve Mandanda.
Tunisia (3-4-2-1): Dahmen; Bronn, Talbi, Meriah; Kechrida, Skhiri, Laidouni, Abdi; Msakni, Sliti; Khazri
France (4-2-3-1): Mandanda; Pavard, Saliba, Varane, Camavinga; Guendouzi, Fofana; Coman, Griezmann, Mbappe; Thuram
France’s backups are better than Tunisia’s starters. The odds are not great and they don’t have value. The Under 2.5 goals option is much more tempting, as France will not push too hard.
Tunisia vs France Pick: Under 2.5 Goals @2.00
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