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Spain Fail to Turn on the Style in Narrow Tunisia Victory

Spain laboured to a narrow 1-0 victory over Tunisia in an underwhelming World Cup warm-up in Krasnodar on Saturday.

 Spain laboured to a narrow 1-0 victory over Tunisia in an underwhelming World Cup warm-up in Krasnodar on Saturday.

The 2010 champions remain unbeaten under coach Julen Lopetegui, who took over 20 matches ago after the Roja’s elimination from Euro 2016 in the last 16 at the hands of Italy.

Iago Aspas scored the only goal against fellow World Cup qualifiers Tunisia seven minutes from the end.
 But Lopetegui’s search for a consistent centre-forward was made no clearer despite a solid showing from Brazil-born Diego Costa.

The Atletico Madrid forward set up Aspas’s winner and was a nuisance throughout for the Africans’ defenders.

Spain dominated the ball but allowed Tunisia some good scoring chances.

Spain begin their Group B campaign against European champions Portugal on June 15 while Tunisia face England in Group G three days later.

All you need to know about Tunisia:

The key player is … Wahbi Khazri

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After the making the wise decision to leave Sunderland for Rennes on loan, Khazri enjoyed an impressive 2017/18 campaign in Ligue 1, scoring 11 goals in 24 appearances. The 27-year-old midfielder has now been capped 37 times for his country, and will be one of the first names on coach Nabil Maâloul’s team-sheet in Russia.

The young player to watch out for is … Ellyes Skhiri

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Skhiri has so far been capped just four times at senior international level but inexperience wasn’t enough to keep the 23-year-old out of Tunisia’s plans for the World Cup.

The midfielder plays for Montpellier and is a physical player with a penchant for breaking up opposition attacks and recycling possession.

He started almost every game at club level last season and there’s an expectation a bigger club could come sniffing around in the near future. A good World Cup certainly won’t do him any harm.

I would like a fun fact about the coach. What can you tell me?

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This is Nabil Maâloul’s second spell in charge of the national team and with Tunisian side Espérance de Tunis, he won a historic treble of trophies (League, Cup and CAF Champions League) back in 2011.

If I were to get a line of the national anthem tattooed onto my back, what should I go for?

How about: “إذا الشعب يوما أراد الحياة
فلا بد أن يستجيب القدر”

Which means: “If the people wanted life, fate must respond.”

Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

Summarise this team for me in one emoji, please

🐪

Who will make their best XI in Russia?

And finally, tell me how the team will perform in Russia?

Let’s face it, in a group containing England and Belgium, it’s going to be tough. It’s likely to be a battle between Tunisia and Panama to see who can finish third in Group G, but you never know.

TunisianMonitorOnline (onefootball)

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