No fear of England for Tunisia, Panama

Casey Dawson
December 3, 2017

Now 61, he coached his native Colombia at the 1998 World Cup in France.

"The key to qualification is going to be the first match, on 18 June, against England", Maaloul told BBC Sport.

"Tunisia takes me back to Marseille", the 47-year-old said, "one of the best days of my life, playing my first game in the World Cup finals for England, an incredible atmosphere and I remember the colour of it, the Beatles music playing before the game. We are expecting a very hard match". "They were a very good team, but this team is more humble than them". But Southgate must find a way to ensure that Tunisia and Panama are treated with the same respect in the opening two group games because everybody outside of those two countries will expect England to win comfortably.

"They're the top seeds in the group, but a really good challenge for us".

"We have to pay great attention to England and Belgium without forgetting Panama, who could be a surprise".

Belgium are 10 places ahead of England in the world rankings, but both teams went unbeaten through qualifying and their encounter on paper is one of the ties of the group stage.

"I think we haven't had a clear captaincy figure for a little while and I think we could have jumped into a decision and not given other people the chance to step forward and do the things they've done".

Spouses trump lit up the main Christmas tree of the country
The White House says 25,000 visitors are expected to take special Christmas tours of the building during the holidays. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the White an interesting way.

In 1978, Tunisia became the first African nation to ever win a match at a World Cup when beating Mexico 3-1 in Argentina.

"Belgium will be favourites even to win the World Cup, but it is the ideal game to see how good this English team is".

However, Maaloul - who is in his second stint as Tunisia coach after a brief spell in charge in 2013 - believes his side can correct that unwanted statistic.

Spurs and England frontman Harry Kane also tweeted his reaction to the draw, saying: "Belgium, Tunisia and Panama!"

"We've got six days of rest after our first game, which if they are anxious about travel, that shouldn't be an issue".

Tunisia have never reached the knock-out stage of a World Cup, having failed in 1978, 1998, 2002 and 2006.

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