Best Odds: 4/9
Tunisia and England go head-to-head in Group G of the World Cup, as both teams look to get their campaign off to a winning start. However, this clash will be regarded as the classic World Cup David v Goliath encounter.
Tunisia are back at the World Cup after a 12-year absence. Russia 2018 will be their fifth World Cup appearance, but the North African side have yet to progress past the group stages of the competition.
The North African nation has won just one of their 12 group games at finals. Their solitary victory came in their first ever World Cup game way back in 1978, when defeated Mexico.
Nabil Maaloul’s side heads into this clash having lost just one of their last ten international games, which came in a 1-0 defeat against Spain in their last outing.
Tunisia’s strength is in defence, as they conceded only four goals in six games at the end of qualifying, so will be tough to break down.
Tunisia has no reported injury worries. Maaloul’s main decision seems to be whether to play Wahbi Khazri or Saif-Eddine Khaoui, as the latter started the last two friendly games.
As is now the custom, England qualified comfortably for this summer’s World Cup. The Three Lions won eight of their qualifiers and drew the other two. Boss Gareth Southgate seems to have identified a system that he wants his team to play and the players seem to have bought into Southgate’s ideas.
The team’s identity has been clear in recent games, as they are unbeaten in ten international games. In fact, only Germany and France have beaten England since the Three Lions suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Euro 2016 against Iceland.
England’s recent friendly games have been tight, as seven of their last eight international matches have produced under 2.5 goals.
Marcus Rashford is a slight fitness doubt for England and is only likely to make the bench. Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire is expected to get the nod ahead of Gary Cahill in the three-man backline.
The pressure is very much on England to deliver in this one. However, the Three Lions have won just three times in their last 18 opening games at major international tournaments.
Tunisia are strong in defence and are likely make life difficult for Southgate’s team. However, England should have enough quality within their ranks to record a narrow victory.
Verdict: England win
Best Odds: 4/9
Best Bookmakers: Coral