Tunisia announce preliminary 29-man World Cup squad

Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul has announced his initial 29-man squad for this summer’s Fifa World Cup.

The Carthage Eagles will be without their best player at Russia 2018 after forward Youssef Msakni injured his cruciate knee ligament while playing for his club last month.

Like Msakni, Esperance Tunis forward Taha Yassine Khenissi has also been ruled out because of a muscular injury. Other big name casualties include Hamid Harbaoui and Aymen Abdennour.

Tunisia’s list however features several French league players, with Montpellier midfielder Elyess Skhiri, Rennes’ Wahbi Khazri and Nice forward Bassem Srarfi among others.

In their final preps, the North Africans will take on Portugal on May 28 in Braga before traveling to Switzerland for another friendly. They will play their final warm-up match in Russia against Spain on June 8.

At the World Cup, Tunisia are placed in Group G alongside Belgium, Panama and England, and will come up against Gareth Southgate’s men in their first match on June 18.

Tunisia’s squad:

Goalkeepers: Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Batin), Moez Ben Cherifia (Esperance), Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab), Hassen Moez (L.B. Chatearoux)

Defenders: Hamdy Nagguez (Zamalek), Dylan Bronn (La Gontoise), Rami Bedoui (Esperance), Yohan Ben Olouane (Leicester City), Siyam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa), Yessine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Bilel Mohsni (Dundee United), Khalil Chammam (Esperance), Oussama Haddai (Dijon), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly)

Midfielders: Elyess Skhiri (Montpellier), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahli), Ghaylene Chalali (Esperance), Karim Laribi (Cesena), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nassr), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Seifeddine Khaoui (Troyes), Mohamed Larbi (Tours)

Strikers: Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Ettifaq), Anice Badri (Esperance), Bassem Srarfi (Nice), Ahmed Akaichi (Ittihad), Wahbi Khazri (Rennes), Naim Sliti (Dijon), Saber Khlifa (Club Africain)



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