Image Credits – Dino Maamria
Dino Maamria, manager of English League Two side Stevenage and a former Tunisia U-21 player, has discussed with Sky Sports News what England might expect when they take on the Carthage Eagles in their first World Cup match in Russia.
“There is a big conflict (in the Tunisia camp) as the manager Nabil Maloul is bringing in a lot of players who play outside of Tunisia and the public are not happy about that because they think there are better players in the Tunisian league than players who have got no connection with Tunisian football because they were born and played in France,” Maamria pointed out.
“Also their best player – Youssef Msakni – is out of the World Cup; it’s like Portugal without Cristiano Ronaldo or Argentina without Lionel Messi. So they will be relying heavily on Wahbi Khazri, who was at Sunderland a couple of years ago.
“There is a centre-forward Hamdi Harbaoui who is one of the top scorers in the Belgium league but he is not in the squad so they haven’t got an out and out centre-forward. Most of their forwards are wingers playing up front and they are going to try to use their pace and hit teams on the counter.
“They are undefeated under Maloul [who is in his second spell as manager] but nobody is convinced with the style of play or the way we (England) qualified.”
Maamria, who spent 23 years in England as a footballer and a manager, admits he feels more at home in England rather than his birthplace Tunisia.
England and Tunisia are set to lock horns at the Volvograd Arena on June 19.