Today’s Predictions: Tunisia Vs England
Tunisia 1 – 2 England
The 13th match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place between surprise package Tunisia and the 1966 winners England
- Date : 18th June 2018
- Time :11:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Volgograd Stadium
England have long been the media’s darlings at every international tournament, with extensive scrutiny at the players’ every move, from training ground tiffs to their wives and girlfriends shopping around. Tunisia, on the other hand, have quietly stunned the world with their improvement, and have climbed up to 14th in the world rankings, the highest of any African teams.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
England had a near perfect qualification campaign, with 8 wins and two away draws against Slovakia and Scotland. They scored 18 and conceded just 3 goals in a favourable group with just Slovakia as their nearest challengers. They won the group with an 8 point margin, with Harry Kane leading the way with 5 goals.
Tunisia had a dramatic qualification campaign. Put in a favourable group, they expectedly dominated against Guinea and Libya, taking 10 points in 4 games against them, before clashing with Congo in an intense double header. They scrapped to a 2-1 win in the first leg, and then showed their infamous resolve and grit to score 2 second half goals to draw the second leg 2-2 and achieve qualification.
England have been unbeaten in their last 6 matches, with 3 draws and 3 wins. Credible draws against Brazil, Germany and Italy and a big win over The Netherlands helped Gareth Southgate’s young squad to gain some much needed confidence. Their most recent match against Costa Rica ended in a dominant 2-0 win.
Tunisia have draw 3 and won 2 of their last 6 matches, but lost their last match to Spain. They earned a credible draw against Portugal after back to back wins against Iran and Costa Rica, to prove they can cut it with other World Cup teams.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have met twice before, with their first meeting ending in a draw back in 1990, while England won their second meeting 2-0 at the 1998 World Cup.
Gareth Southgate had some tough decisions to make when it came to finalizing the 23 man World Cup squad. The biggest exclusion was Ryan Bertrand, dropped in favour of Danny Rose and Ashley Young. Chris Smalling couldn’t find a place either, while Adam Lallana and Jack Wilshere were deemed not fit enough to board the plane to Russia.
Tunisia have been ravaged by a set of unfortunate injuries, none bigger than their Marquee forward Youssef Msakni, who was their top scorer during the qualifier, including a memorable hattrick against Guinea. Some of their other key players are also not fully fit but have been included in the final squad.
Players To Watch Out For
Harry Kane is England’s best hope in recent years to fire them to World Cup glory, with the prolific marksman one of the favourites for the golden boot. His Spurs’ teammate Dele Alli along with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling will aid him in attack. Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Chelsea hotshot Ruben Loftus Cheek have been impressive of late and could lock down a permanent spot in the starting lineup.
Tunisia are a team devoid of any specific stars, however the team’s work ethic, especially in midfield has made them a solid force. Thrir fixed midfield of Ferjani Sassi, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor and Ghaylen Chaaleli can dominate the proceedings against several top sides as well. Wahbi Khazri is their main attacking threat, with his set pieces adding another dimension to their gameplay.
England Vs Tunisia Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- England are heavy favourites for this clash, considering Tunisia haven’t won a single game in their last 3 World Cup campaigns combined.
- Though Tunisia emerged unbeaten from their qualifiers, the loss of their first choice striker to injury will surely hamper any chances of success that they had in this tournament.
- England failed to qualify from the group stages for the first time since 1958, when they were knocked out in 2014. Tunisia have never gone past the group stages.
- Marcus Rashford has been in sublime form of late, and we would recommend betting on him to score the opening goal.
- Tunisia may not have a good attacking threat but can be very hard to score against, and often play for a clean sheet. Hence we recommend betting on the under 2.5 goals market.
Considering how compact Tunisia can be at the back, we do not expect a goal rout in this, but we don’t think they have the ability to score either. Hence we predict a close win for England in this one .
Our Predicted Score line : England 1-0 Tunisia