Tunisia up for cup fight with Socceroos


Socceroos coach Graham Arnold wants a football fight and the Tunisia coach says he will get it when they meet at the World Cup.

Arnold has planned a physical clash at Al Janoub Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 9:00 p.m. AEDT) as the two nations look for a lifeline in the cup.

And Tunisian coach Jalel Kadri says, based on his scouting, that’s exactly what he’s preparing his players to expect from the Australians.

“These are the specifics of the Australian team, they have a high level of athletic performance,” Kadri told reporters.

“Nevertheless, we are convinced of our abilities.

“And we have players who are up to that challenge.”

After losing 4-1 to France, Australia identified the match against Tunisia as a must win to hope to qualify for the knockout stage for only the second time.

Tunisia, who drew with Denmark at the top, have never left the group in their last five campaigns.

“It’s a key game for us and for Australia, you know how important this game is for both national teams,” Kadri said.

“We have to know how to negotiate the game to get the best possible result.

“The Australian team is a very respected team… I consider that they are capable of playing top-level matches.

“They have players who can run very fast, who can make good use of opportunities.

“Nevertheless, they have weaknesses that we can invest in.”

The Tunisians will enjoy an outpouring of support in Qatar, with Australia bracing for a hostile reception in the pro-Arab crowd.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to participate in a World Cup in an Arab country where the Tunisian community is strongly present,” Kadri said.

“We know it will give us a big boost and it’s something that could be added to the performance.”

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