Tunisia Vs England world cup 2018 Live Stream
Strap yourselves in: this is England’s opening Group G match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia against Tunisia.
Gareth Southgate’s men will be attempting to break a cycle of heartache and humiliation at major tournaments that have plunged the birthplace of football to its lowest ebb.
A loss to Iceland in the last 16 of the 2016 European Championship was perhaps the ultimate embarrassment. Or maybe that came when England endured their shortest World Cup campaign two years earlier – only in contention for eight days.
Before that, there were penalty shoot-out losses in 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2012. And before that, who could forget Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal that denied England in the World Cup semi-finals in 1986?
It’s no surprise that the nation’s expectations are low heading to Russia. England may have won the 1966 World Cup, but have only reached the semi-finals of a tournament twice since then.
Tunisia have suffered the worst blow of all 32 teams to date, losing their playmaker Youssef Msakni, who suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury on April 7 that will keep him out for at least six months. The attacking midfielder, who has 49 caps, tore an anterior ligament playing for his Qatar Stars League club, Al-Duhail, against Al-Sailiya.
When Nabil Maloul, Tunisia’s manager, was asked in March what Msakni’s absence would mean when the player could not feature in the spring friendlies because of a minor meniscus problem that required 10 days’ rest, he said it would be like Argentina going to Russia without Lionel Messi.
Here is Tunisia’s 23-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Moez Hassen (Chateauroux, France), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten, Saudi Arabia)
Defenders: Rami Bedoui (Etoile du Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City, England), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Dylan Bronn (Gent, Belgium), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon, France), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly, Egypt), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek, Egypt)
Midfielders: Anice Badri (Esperance), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahli Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Ghaylene Chaalali (Esperance), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Saifeddine Khaoui (Troyes, France), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier, France), Naim Sliti (Dijon, France), Bassem Srarfi (Nice, France)
Forwards: Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Al Ittifaq, Saudi Arabia), Saber Khalifa (Club Africain), Wahbi Khazri (Rennes, France)
Gareth Southgate has named a bold World Cup squad focused on promise rather than experience.
Uncapped Trent Alexander-Arnold is celebrating a maiden England call-up but Adam Lallana, Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere miss out.
After months of speculation, scrutiny and conjecture, the 23 men charged with bringing the country success in Russia were revealed on Wednesday afternoon, along with the five-strong stand-by list for the tournament.
England’s joint second-most capped goalkeeper Hart was excluded from both lists as were Arsenal midfielder Wilshere and Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand – but Lallana provided the biggest shock.
While the Liverpool attacking midfielder has not started a Premier League match since New Year’s Day, he is a favourite of Southgate. However, his lack of fitness means he has to settle with a stand-by place alongside Jake Livermore, Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook.
Gary Cahill received a surprise reprieve having been excluded from March’s squad – the only member of the group to have reached a half-century of caps.
But the most striking inclusion is uncapped teenager Alexander-Arnold.
An impressive performer in Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final, the 19-year-old briefly trained with Southgate’s side in March and has now been named in the senior squad for the first time.
The other uncapped squad member is Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, having been selected ahead of 75-cap Hart to take the third spot behind Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was rewarded for his fine form and versatile Fabian Delph came in after winning the title at Manchester City, despite the last playing for his country in November 2015.
Ashley Young, rejuvenated at Manchester United, joined Danny Rose as left-back options instead of Bertrand, who will feel hard done by considering he played a key role for Southgate.