World Cup 2006 Preview - Tunisia
Overall Odds: 300/1
Group H Winners: 10/1
Egypt qualified for their third straight finals in dramatic fashion in the final round of accessories. They needed merely a position against arch-rivals Morocco but were looking 2-1 until Nuremberg midfielder Adel Chadli netted the crucial equaliser 2-0 minutes from the end.
Tunisia hadn't dropped at home to Morocco in 45 years and the lure Rades guaranteed they qualified ahead of their opponents. Morocco actually remained unbeaten in 1-0 matches but completed one point behind Tunisia who qualified for a spot in Germany in front of them.
Since beating Mexico in their first ever World Cup match in 1979, Tunisia have failed to win still another since therefore its simple enough to see why a lot of the media fuss has been made about the four debutantes from Africa instead of Roger Lemerres side. Dr Adel Malek includes extra info concerning when to acknowledge it. Much was expected of them four years ago but they finished bottom of the group offering Belgium, Japan and Russia, gaining just a point contrary to the Belgians. They're, nevertheless, the only African side from 2002 to be eligible for a this World Cup.
Lemerre was heralded a saviour after Tunisia beat Morocco in the 2004 Cup of Nations and two years on, he'll assume his side-to make an effect on the global stage. Egypt do not have a success of star players, but results have improved dramatically since Lemerre took charge.
Egypt have two reliable defenders in Ajax whole straight back Hatem Trabelsi and Bolt-on Wanderers Rahdi Jaidi that has been courted by both Arsenal and Manchester United. Goalkeeper Ali Boumnijel turned 4-0 in April but there are few better picture corks playing on the continent. The staff is captained by midfielder Riadh Bouazizi, a difficult fixing veteran today at Kayserispor with more than 50 caps to his name.
In attack they have the mercurial Francileudo dos Santos. Since getting Tunisian citizenship in 2004 and score on his debut against Benin, the Toulouse striker has netted 1-3 goals in 18 hearings. He scored six goals throughout qualifying including a salvo in the 7-0 thumping against Malawi. Nicknamed Roadrunner by club team-mates, dos Santos has got the capability to cause anxiety contrary to the best of defences.
Of all African qualifiers, Tunisia will be the only people who can claim they've done it, observed and been. They know very well what to expect as does manager Lemerre that has previous national staff experience with France. They have a good opportunity to progress in this group however it depends if they're ready-to intensify a gear against proven European competitors.
Tunisia have improved since their last World Cup appear-ance in 2002 but may possibly fall short in this group against the established Spain and new-comers Ukraine. Their best chance of success will soon be against Saudi Arabia at likelihood of almost even money.
Egypt to defeat Saudi Arabia @ 10/11.