Tunisia vs Australia - World Cup: Team news, lineups & prediction
For the sixth time in their history, Tunisia is taking part in the World Cup finals, and they are hoping to advance to the competition's knockout round for the first time.
The African nation, which in 1998, 2002, and 2006 failed to win a group match, managed to record a victory last time out in Russia, and they have had a successful opening to this tournament by holding a talented Denmark team to a scoreless draw in their section opener.
The outcome of Tunisia's match against Australia could have a significant impact on whether or not they advance to the knockout round because France is their final and most difficult opponent in the group.
The team led by Jalel Kadri defeated Mali in the third qualifying round to advance to the World Cup finals, and they haven't dropped a match since January.
Tunisia will face Australia for only the third time in their history in this game. Their only previous competitive encounter was in the Confederations Cup back in June 2005, where Tunisia won 2-0. Tunisia's performance against Denmark will undoubtedly have given them plenty of encouragement going into this game.
Australia, as previously established, will enter this match after losing 4-1 to the world champions France on Tuesday, placing them in a precarious situation in Group D.
Craig Goodwin gave the Socceroos the lead against Didier Deschamps's team in the ninth minute, but France went on to score four goals without being answered by Adrien Rabiot, Olivier Giroud (two), and Kylian Mbappe, leaving Australia in last place in the group.
Graham Arnold's team defeated New Zealand in two friendlies at the end of September after defeating the United Arab Emirates and Peru on penalties to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
Australia has now participated in each of the previous five World Cups, losing in the group stage in three of those appearances while only winning once.
However, the national team did manage to go to the round of 16 in 2006 after placing second to Brazil in Group F and losing 1-0 to Italy in the opening round.
Tunisia team news
The majority of the starting XI from Tunisia's match against Denmark in the competition opener should return to the field because the country has not disclosed any injury concerns.
Wahbi Khazri, who leads the team in goals scored with 24, was absent from the club's first tournament game but is anticipated to start this game.
Youssef Msakni and Issam Jebali are almost certain to keep their spots in the final third of the field, while the 31-year-old could replace Anis Ben Slimane.
While Hannibal Mejbri, a midfielder for Manchester United, was a late replacement against Denmark, the teenager will be hoping to accrue more World Cup minutes here.
Australia team news
There were positives from the match with the Blues, therefore Australia's head coach Arnold is expected to resist the urge to rearrange his squad after the team's loss to France.
The starting lineup from Tuesday should be used once more, with Mitchell Duke manning the centre of the Socceroos' line.
With 13 goals, Mathew Leckie leads the team in scoring. The 31-year-old will once again play off the right, and Goodwin, who scored against France, is also expected to keep his spot.
Harry Souttar of Stoke City, Aaron Mooy of Celtic, and Riley McGree of Middlesbrough are also expected to start for Australia on Saturday.
Tunisia possible starting lineup
Dahmen; Bronn, Meriah, Talbi; Drager, Skhiri, Laidouni, Abdi; Khazri, Jebali, Msakni
Australia possible starting lineup
Ryan; Atkinson, Souttar, Rowles, Behich; Mooy; Leckie, Irvine, McGree, Goodwin; Duke
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