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Tunisia will do everything to shock England & Belgium, says Haddadi

6:23 pm AEST 4/6/18
Tunisia squad
The 26-year-old says the Eagles of Carthage are preparing well and will show their 'true face' in Russia

Tunisia left-back Oussama Haddadi is under no illusions that progression at the World Cup will be easy, but intends to put everything on the line to shock Group G favourites Belgium and England.

The Eagles of Carthage topped their CAF qualifying table without a single defeat, beating Congo DR to the top spot by a single point and scoring 11 goals along the way.

Haddadi feels that while Tunisia are far from favourites to win their next group, preparations for Russia continue to go well and that he and his team-mates will give everything they can to cause an upset.

“We had a good qualifying campaign,” Haddadi told Goal. “It hasn't been easy but we're preparing well.

“We know that it won't be simple getting past the first round because we're in a difficult group with England and Belgium, but we'll do everything we can to cause a shock.

“We must not be afraid of other nations. We must be confident, play our game and show the true face of Tunisia.”

Belgium, while boasting some of world football's most sought-after talents, have flattered to deceive at major tournaments, while England also have a historic tendency to underwhelm.

Asked which team is the favourite in a group that also contains Panama, Haddadi was critical of placing too much expectation on individuals.

“I think that Belgium is the strongest team of its generation on paper, but we know that they've done nothing exceptional so far.

“They didn't win the Euros and their performance at the last World Cup wasn't very good. That's why famous names don't necessarily make the difference.

“Some teams have a lot of starts but success doesn't depend on that. A national team is a collective. 

“Hazard is a very good player... De Bruyne, Mertens... Those are the best players that we'll face. Then of course England have Kane, Lingard, Sterling... offensive, quick players. But we also have a good group.

“If we take Portugal, for example, they don't have many great players besides Ronaldo and two or three others, but it's a coherent group that won the European Championship. That's football.”