Tunisia v France
France have the luxury of going into their final Group D fixture against Tunisia having qualified for the last 16 – and virtually assured of first place in the pool. It would take an unlikely string of results to knock the defending champions off top spot.
Les Bleus have ended the curse of the World Cup winners, becoming the first title holders to negotiate the pool stage since Brazil in 2006 and the first Europeans to do so since Germany in 1994.
Now it promises to be a case of squad management for head coach Didier Deschamps, who has already seen four players pull out of his squad since it was named. Indeed, while there had been a suggestion that Karim Benzema might be able to return for the latter stages, the Real Madrid striker has gone on holiday, effectively ending that possibility.
Tunisia currently sit at the bottom of Group D. They started off on a good note with a draw against Denmark. Their performance was excellent in the first match. However, the loss against Australia was marked with a very fluctuating performance from the Carthage Eagles. An incredibly difficult task awaits them against the defending world champions. Undefeated so far, reports are indicating that the French will not hold anything back and are aiming for the full mark. All players are expected to take part so the French will wave all their flags and show off their skills.
Changes are expected for the fixture against Tunisia, with these primarily taking place in the defence. Jules Kounde, for instance, is one booking away from a ban so is expected to be given a breather, while it has been suggested that Eduardo Camavinga could be deployed in the problematic left-back berth, where only Theo Hernandez is a natural.
Deschamps will hope that if he does elect to stick with his star men in attack that is not an issue. Certainly, with six goals in two goals, France have looked a strong unit despite their absentees.
They also have an undefeated record to protect against an opponent that will be eager to defeat them for historical reasons, with Tunisia once part of the French Empire. France have won two and drawn two against this rival, but this will be the first competitive meeting of the nations. Deschamps’ side expect another win.
The odds on Rabiot getting a shot on target in this game are very attractive indeed given that he presently sits third in tournament shots for France behind only Mbappe and Olivier Giroud. The Juventus midfielder has had five efforts on goal, which is as many as Antoine Griezmann.
Indeed, against Denmark, he had a total of four shots, including three in the first half. Only one of these found the target but he is presently playing very well and it is clear that his confidence is up. Expect him to try his luck at least once and to hit the target at least once this game, thereby mirroring his performances against Australia and Denmark.
Naim Sliti is likely to get a few shots away against the French on Wednesday. He tried on previous occasions and will do the same again this time. Shots and shots on target are key this game for Tunisia as they will try to infiltrate the French defense. The Al-Ettifaq player played the full 90 minutes against Australis, and is expected to play a similar amount against this French side.
Deauchamps will most likely bring changes in defense and throughout the squad, and even though Tunisia may be massive underdogs here, Sliti could be an outlet to test Steve Mandanda or Alphonse Areola in the French goal.
Camavinga is liable to get thrown in at the deep end in this match in a left-back berth – a role he has played only in training matches before. Deschamps knows the importance of protecting Theo Hernandez from both injury and suspension, and that means reducing the Milan full-back’s playing time.
There is no other good left-sided option in defence. Camavinga, therefore, will have a difficult role to play. With France set to dominate possession, it is easy to see him being caught positionally on the break and having to make up for this by committing himself to a risky challenge or making a tactical foul. At 4.5 to be shown a card, the Real Madrid man is also good value on this front.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Haven’t got a Betfair account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Betfair and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £20 on the 8/1 Tunisia v France Bet Builder. Here are the two possible outcomes:
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets *
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *