2022 World Cup Preview: Tunisia vs France

The Carthage Eagles will try to upset France in their last group encounter at the 2022 World Cup and depend on result elsewhere to go beyond the Group stage for the first time in their history.

France nullified the “defending champions’ curse” by beating Australia and Denmark to earn six points and a place in the World Cup’s final 16. Kylian Mbappé has once again established himself as France’s go-to guy, with Griezmann and Olivier Giroud also contributing significantly to the victories. The Paris Saint Germain star scored twice against Denmark to snap their 22-year winless streak against the Danish Dynamites.

Tunisia, on the other hand, will have to outperform the reigning champions in order to stand a chance of advancing to the next round of the competition. The 2004 African champions have failed to achieve that feat in each of their prior outings. Tunisia have only won two of their 17 World Cup matches. Following a close win over Mali to qualify for this year’s tournament, the Carthage Eagles drew scoreless with a powerful Denmark team in their opening encounter, which enhanced their prospects of doing well in the competition.

However, a devastating loss to Australia in the second game dwindled their prospects yet again, leaving them at the bottom of the table.

Tunisia may qualify with a convincing win while they expect Denmark to win or draw against Australia. However, if Denmark loses to Australia, it will end Tunisia’s stay at the competition.

FORM GUIDE (LAST FIVE MATCHES)

Tunisia have only lost twice in their last five matches, with two victories and one tie. France regained their form just in time for the World Cup, with the 2018 winners hitting six goals in two games. Another area of concern is their defense, which has surrendered in four of their previous five games.

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TUNISIA’S FORM

26 November 2022         Tunisia          0-1            Australia       2022 World Cup Group D

22 November 2022         Denmark      0-0             Tunisia         2022 World Cup Group D

27 September 2022        Brazil           5–1             Tunisia          Friendly

22 September 2022        Tunisia         1−0            Comoros        Friendly

14 June 2022                 Japan           0–3             Tunisia          Kirin Cup Soccer

 

FRANCE’S FORM

26 November 2022        France          2-1           Denmark          2022 World Cup Group D

22 November 2022        France          4-1           Australia           2022 World Cup Group D

25 September 2022       Denmark      2–0           France              Nations League

22 September 2022       France         2–0            Austria             Nations League

13 June 2022                France         0–1            Croatia             Nations League

 

HEAD TO HEAD

Tunisia are looking for their second win after five meetings, having won over France in 1971. France have won two and drawn two of their meetings with Tunisia.

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07 Oct 1971               Tunisia         2-1          France                     Mediterranean Games

19 May 1978              France         2-0          Tunisia                     International Friendly

21 Aug 2002              Tunisia         1-1          France                     International Friendly

14 Oct 2008               France         3-1          Tunisia                     International Friendly

30 May 2010              Tunisia         1-1         France                      International Friendly

 

TEAM NEWS

TUNISIA

Tunisia coach, Jalel Kadri will have a fully fit squad to choose from. Wahbi Kazri has not started any of the Eagles’ two World Cup matches. He is however expected to start this all important game.

PREDICTED LINE UP

(3-4-2-1): Dahmen; Bronn, Talbi, Meriah; Kechrida, Skhiri, Laidouni, Abdi; Msakni, Sliti; Khazri

 

FRANCE

Didier Deschamps may experiment with rotations because his team has nothing to lose. Jules Kounde is France’s sole yellow carded player and may be replaced by Benjamin Pavard to avoid suspension.

PREDICTED LINE UP

(4-2-3-1): Lloris; Pavard, Konate, Varane, T. Hernandez; Guendouzi, Fofana; Coman, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud