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Tunisia vs Iran: Big match stats pack

07:05 GMT+3 23/03/2018
Tunisia World Cup
The teams have met just once in the past, in a friendly match where they drew 2-2

Tunisia will welcome Iran to the Stade 7 Novembre de Rades on March 23 as both sides start their World Cup preparations.

The two sides have both qualified for the tournament in Russia this summer after finishing top of their respective groups.

The Carthage Eagles who have qualified for four FIFA World Cups, will be in group G with the likes of Belgium, England and Panama and in their first game will play against England on June 18.

Iran will be in group B together with Spain, Portugal, Morocco and their opening game will be with Morocco on June 15.

Both Coaches Nabil Maaloul and Carlos Queiroz will see this fixture as key to getting their squads into good shape before their World Cup encounters in the group stage.

This will be the fifth time for Tunisia to participate in the World Cup tournament, the first time being in 1978, but have yet to make it out of the first round. 

Nevertheless, they created history in the 1978 tournament in Argentina by becoming the first African side to win a World Cup match, beating Mexico 3–1.

They also held defending champions West Germany to a goalless draw before bowing out. They also qualified for three tournaments in succession, in 1998, 2002, 2006.

Meanwhile, Iran is one of the most successful national teams in Asia. The Melli has qualified for the World Cup five times (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014, and 2018) but has never advanced past the group stage. Iran's only win in the World Cup has been a 2–1 victory against the United States in 1998.

Their head coach Carlos Queiroz is the longest serving manager in the history of the Iran national team after serving for over seven years since his appointment on 2011.

He is the only manager in the country’s history who has led the national team to two World Cups and also the first manager to lead the national team to consecutive World Cups. 

Head to head

The teams have met just once in the past. It was in August 2002 in a friendly match where they drew 2-2.

Players to watch

Tunisia have Youssef Msakni, a player with great skills, dribbling ability and the ability to shoot from distance, he's been linked with moves to Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham in the past.

Currently, the 27-year-old plays for Al-Duhail the club which he joined in 2013, scoring 69 goals in 102 appearances. He played a key role in the qualifying games, scoring a hat-trick against Guinea.

Meanwhile, Iran they have Sardar Azmoun the 23 year-old Rubin Kazan forward is the man who is looked upon to add bit of much needed quality in the final third.

Azmoun has struggled for goals in the Russian Premier League this season, but on the international stage his record stands at a goal roughly every 140 minutes and he notched 11 times in qualifying games.

Tunisia: Predicted Starting Line-Up 

Aymen Mathlouthi (GK), Hamdi Naguez (DF), Syam Ben Youssef (DF), Aymen Abdennour (DF), Ali Maâloul (DF), Ferjani Sassi (MF), Larry Azouni (MF), Hamza Lahmar (MF), Naim Sliti (FW), Ahmed Akaichi (FW), Youssef Msakni (FW)

Iran: Predicted Starting Line-Up

Alireza Beiranvand (GK), Vouria Ghafouri (DF), Seyed Jalal Hosseini (DF), Morteza Pouraliganji (DF), Ehsan Hajsafi (DF), Saeid Ezatolahi (MF), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (MF), Omid Ebrahimi (MF), Vahid Amiri (FW), Mehdi Taremi (FW), Sardar Azmoun (FW)