Tunisia's World Cup 2022 Standings
Tunisia is the third team in Group G, which also includes Belgium, Panama and England. Below you will find their current tournament standings, updated after every matchday.
Tunisia's Odds To Win The World Cup
Tunisia is not expected to achieve much in the World Cup, and Sports Interaction has listed them as big outsiders, priced at +59900 to win the tournament. While this figure is not quite as large as their Group G opponents Panama, they are no chance of pulling off a Leicester City-like upset and winning the competition.
The best bets on offer concern Tunisia's chances of progressing from their group - +250 is on offer for the Africans to succeed in reaching the Round of 16 for the first time in their history, while you can get fairly generous odds of -333 for them to be eliminated in the group stage. With England and Belgium alongside them, the latter is certainly the favourite and not a bad bet at all.
We agree that Tunisia will have a hard time reaching the second round, and will go one further by predicting that they will finish last in their group behind Panama. The side simply does not have the star power to rival their European opponents, and we feel first-timers Panama will get a win against them in their dead-rubber matchup.
Tunisia's Squad & Key Players
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalized until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first, let's take a look at some of the most important players in the Tunisian team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Youssef Msakni (Winger / Forward)
Tunisian Number 7 is a big goal-scoring threat from the left; he has already notched up 14 for his country and 132 in total in his senior career. He managed a hat trick in the final round of qualification against Guinea, helping his side progress to the World Cup, and is also known for his ability to assist whoever is playing in the conventional striker role.
Aymen Mathlouthi (Goalkeeper)
The captain of the side is one of the most experienced players in the Tunisian lineup and rated by some as one of the best African goalkeepers of all time. Known for being just as good with his feet as the outfield players, Mathlouthi's distribution from the back is a plus. He has made 278 appearances for Tunisian club side Etoile Sportive du Sahel, whom he also captains.
The Coach - Nabil Maaloul
Maaloul was born in the Tunisian capital and made 74 appearances as a midfielder for the Tunisian national team between 1985 and 1995, retiring just before the side made it to the 1998 World Cup. He commenced management almost immediately and was named the assistant coach for the national side twice, first in 2002 and again in 2006.
After a stint with Esperance de Tunis from 2010 until 2012, winning a historic treble with the club in 2011 (League, Cup and CAF Champions League). He had a short spell with Tunisia in 2013, moved on to coach Kuwait between 2014 and 2017 and finally returned to Tunisia for the fourth time in April 2017, succeeding in the nation's bid to make the 2018 World Cup.
Tunisia's World Cup 2022 Lineup
Tunisia's latest international was played against Libya on November 11th, 2017, their final match of World Cup qualification. The full lineup was as follows.
Starting Lineup (4-3-3)
Aymen Mathlouthi (Etoile du Sahel) - Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa), Hamdi Nagguez (Etoile du Sahel) - Ghailene Chalali (Esperance), Mohamed Ben Amor (Etoile du Sahel), Anice Badri (Esperance) - Youssef Msakni (Al Duhail), Taha Khenissi (Esperance), Wahbi Khazri (Rennes).
Reserves: O Haddadi, F Ben Youssef, F Sassi, R Bedoui, B Srarfi, K Aouadhi, M Ben Cherifia, F Ben Mustapha, K Chemmam, H Mathlouthi, Y Touzghar, A Trabelsi.
Tunisia's World Cup History
Tunisia will be making their fifth appearance at the FIFA World Cup when they travel to Russia in June, the equal third-most starts by an African nation behind Nigeria and Cameroon. Their performances at the tournament have historically been quite poor, going out in the first round in all four prior competitions. The Africans have only ever won once match at the World Cup.
1978 marked the nation's first foray into the world's biggest sporting tournament, and they became the first African nation to win a match at the World Cup when they defeated Mexico 3-1 in their opening game. Unfortunately, they also shared their group with European giants Poland and West Germany; Poland managed to defeat them 1-0, while Tunisia was admirable in their 0-0 draw with the Germans, yet fell short.
Although they exited in the first round, it proved to be their most successful effort to date. Tunisia found themselves in the World Cup wilderness for twenty years, before a 32-team tournament presented Tunisia with the opportunity to qualify once more. Their 1998 group didn't look too difficult on paper - they faced England, Romania and a Colombian side yet to make their mark on the international stage - however, they managed just the solitary point against the table-topping Romanians.
Tunisia made it successive World Cup appearances when they qualified for the 2002 edition and again we're faced with a below-average group in terms of difficulty. They faced hosts Japan, Belgium and Russia, and once more only managed one point from their three matches, coming in the second match. A two-goal win against Japan would have been enough to secure progression, however, Japan was too good in the final match.
2006 marked three in a row for Tunisia as they once again reached the tournament, this time held in Germany. Once again, Tunisia managed just one point, scoring a stoppage-time equalizer against Saudi Arabia. Despite leading for 63 minutes against a strong Spanish team, they lost 3-1 in their second match before a 1-0 loss to Ukraine saw them lose to both European teams in their group.
As is normally the case for African teams in the World Cup, Tunisia will once again face two European teams in Group G at the 2018 World Cup. While they will meet an England team who have not made an impact in an international tournament for some time, they also run into a red hot Belgian team who are among the favourites to win the title. Once again it looks to be a tough ask for the Tunisians to qualify.
Although they showed great form in their CAF qualifying group, avoiding defeat in all six matches and finishing above a strong DR Congo side, it is hard to see Tunisia overcoming the tremendous odds against them progressing to the second round. On a positive note, they are a good chance of defeating Panama, and England are known to choke in big tournaments, so you never know!