Another of the more fancied teams at Equatorial Guinea, Tunisia, much like Algeria will have disappointed with the host nation change from nearby Morocco. Even so, their form in the qualifiers showed they are able to produce results on their travels, the Carthage Eagles being another team to go through the 6 games unbeaten. Considering the strength of the group they were required to qualify from, this shows how Tunisia are a team to be taken very seriously at AFCoN 2015, Senegal, Egypt and Botswana all unable to beat a defensively strong Tunisian team.
Four times World Cup qualifiers, Tunisia have been a mainstay of the Africa Cup of Nations, with 17 appearances and a solitary title from 2004, a famous victory on home soil, beating Morocco in the final, sending 60,000 supporters into raptures after a 2-1 victory. More recently Tunisia have tended to exit at the Quarter-Final stage, if not the group stage so they are due a big performance at the African showpiece event, particularly after their relatively poor showing in South Africa when they exited with just a solitary win, albeit over arch rivals Algeria.
Currently managed by George Leekens who has previously managed his homeland Beligum’s national team, along with several big clubs including Anderlecht and Lokeren, has organised the Carthage Eagles into a formidable defensive unit. At the heart of this defence lies Syam Ben Youssef and Aymen Abdennour. Leekens favoured the wingback system in qualifying with Hamza Mathlouthi particularly adept going forward. Jamel Saihi of Montpellier in France holds the key to the team’s creativity and has been impressive in midfield for club and country of late. It remains to be seen who Leekens will partner with Amine Chermiti up front.
A Semi-Final berth at least for the Tunisians is what I predict. Placed on the easier side of the draw, I don’t see the Group B alongside Zambia, DR Congo and Cape Verde posing them too many problems and would be surprised to see them not top it. From there they will meet a qualifier from Group A who should be no match for them. So the semi-finals beckon, from there who knows, possible finalists but I would err on the side of seeing their final game in the 3/4 play-off.