Can Tunisia make the perfect start to their Africa Cup of Nations campaign when they meet Angola this week? The North African side were impressive at the 2018 World Cup, pushing England and finishing up third behind two sides who went on to make the semis. They’re set to battle for top spot in this group alongside Mali, so Tunisia will need to take an early victory from their clash with Angola on Monday.
Tunisia have changed boss since their World Cup displays, as Alain Giresse has taken over aiming to build on their results in Russia. We saw their talented side last year, while they have certainly changed their style from the expected, functional side. Instead, Tunisia are creating attacking players, including Youssef Msakni of Qatar’s Al-Duhail, who is expected to impress after missing out on the World Cup last summer. Could he be the key to moving Tunisia forward this summer?
Angola had a golden period between 2006 and 2010, as they made the World Cup in Germany. They followed that with back to back quarter-final finishes in the Africa cup of Nations, including the 2010 tournament which they hosted. Since then it’s been a mix of failures to qualify or an inability to make it out of the group. Angola aren’t the side they once were, so we see Tunisia as worthy favourites for the points in this game.
In what is a huge game for both sides, the fact that a draw would be enough for both to qualify could mean that neither really opens up. Hosts Italy currently occupy the best runner-up spot so the local support within the stadium could turn on the players if they feel both teams are playing for a point. France haven't performed particularly well for large parts of their matches so far and will need to improve to beat a Romania side that have scored eight times and are fast becoming a dark horse to go all the way.