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England are Tunisia's 'toughest' opponents at the World Cup - Ali Maaloul

7:25 PM IST 22/02/18
Ali Maaloul of Tunisia and Al-Ahly
The Carthage Eagles have never made it past the group stage of the showpiece and the defender is hoping for a better outing in Russia

England 'will be the toughest match' for Tunisia, according to Ali Maaloul.

The Carthage Eagles qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 12 years and will have to navigate their way past the Three Lions, Belgium and Panama in Group G to make it to the knock out stage of the tournament for the first time in their history.

Although the Al Ahly defender is upbeat that Nabil Maaloul’s men will put in their best in the tourney, he acknowledged that Gareth Southgate’s side will be difficult.

"The England game will be the toughest match for us; we respect all, but we do not fear any of the teams," Maaloul told BBC Sport.

"Tunisia are in a strong group with big teams but we will prepare well to make our nation proud.

“Under the leadership of coach Nabil Maaloul, we want to go far in the World Cup to make Tunisian fans and Africa proud."

Tunisia have lined up friendly games with Iran, Costa Rica and Spain ahead of the World Cup which kicks off on June 14.