Sports Mole previews Friday’s World Cup Qualifying – Africa clash between Tunisia and Sao Tome & Principe, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Tunisia and Sao Tome & Principe kick off their CAF World Cup qualifiers with a meeting at Stade Olympique Hammabi Agrebi on Friday evening.
Both teams suffered defeat in their respective last outings, and they will be looking to get back to winning ways with all three points in Rades.
Tunisia fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Japan when the teams faced off in a friendly encounter at Noevir Stadium on October 17.
Jalel Kadri‘s men went into half time trailing to Kyogo Furuhashi‘s 43rd-minute strike, before Junya Ito made sure of the result just past the midway point of the second half.
Consequently, the Eagles of Carthage have now suffered consecutive losses for the first time since January 2022, when they were beaten by Algeria and Mali.
Awaiting them next is the challenge of an opposing outfit who are currently 154 places below in the latest FIFA rankings of all national teams.
Unbeaten in front of their fans for the last two-and-a-half years, Friday’s hosts will heavily back themselves to get the job done on home turf once again.
Sao Tome & Principe wrapped up their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a 6-0 thrashing against the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on September 10.
Victor Osimhen netted a hat-trick to put Adriano Eusebio‘s men to the sword, with Ademola Lookman, Taiwo Awoniyi and Samuel Chukwueze also getting in on the act.
That was a third straight defeat for Selecao dos Falcoes e Papagaios, who are now winless in seven matches in a row across all competitions.
Having shipped 25 goals across their last seven matches on the road, Friday’s visitors will need to be solid at the back to stand any chance of avoiding defeat here.
Tunisia form (all competitions):
Sao Tome & Principe form (all competitions):
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Ali Maaloul and Hannibal Mejbri are both unavailable for Tunisia through muscle injuries, and neither of them will play any part in this one.
Youssef Msakni will be looking to deliver the goods for the hosts once again as he heads into Friday’s contest on a two-game scoring streak.
Thirty-six-year-old Luis Leal has not got himself on the scoresheet since March but is expected to feature up front for Sao Tome here.
Joazhifel Soares is set to record his 34th cap for the away side, and the 33-year-old continues to extend his lead at the top of the appearances chart.
Tunisia possible starting lineup:
Dahmen; Abdi, Taibi, Meriah, Zaalouni; Skhiri, Laidouni, Mahmoud; Msakni, Jouini, Sliti
Sao Tome & Principe possible starting lineup:
Silva; Rogerio, Ramos, Oliveira, Fernandes; Aldair, Cardoso, Silva; Lumungo, Leal, Barbeiro
We say: Tunisia 3-1 Sao Tome & Principe
Tunisia have endured a tough run of results of late but are still huge favourites to come out on top here. We fully expect the hosts to get the job done in a relatively comfortable manner come the end of the 90 minutes.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.