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Panama v Tunisia: Preview and possible lineups

Pin Tunisia and Panama will be wanting a first win at the tournament. EFE
Tunisia and Panama will be wanting a first win at the tournament. EFE

Panama v Tunisia: Preview and possible lineups

Simon Green by Simon Green @besoccer_com - 0 839

We take a look ahead to the Group G game between Panama and Tunisia at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. Kick off: 8pm (CET).

Panama:

The Central American side has been criticised in its first two matches for having an overly physical approach. However, given Tunisia do not possess the same quality as England or Belgium, Panama may opt to ditch this approach in their final group game.

Squad-wise, Panama have no injury concerns going in to their final match of the tournament, but Michael Murillo and Armando Cooper are both suspended following the 6-1 defeat to England.

Tunisia:

The North Africans have had an unlucky tournament as far as injuries are concerned, especially in goal where they lost Mouez Hassen against England and back-up keeper Farouk Ben Mustapha to a knee injury in training.

As a result, they only have one fit goalkeeper in the squad but will likely be allowed to call a standby to come and sit on the substitute bench for Thursday's game.

Dylan Bronn will also be missing from the team, after the central defender was carried off the pitch on a stretcher against Belgium.

Panama coach Hernan Gomez on Tunisia's strengths:

 "I've really enjoyed watching the games at this World Cup and been very, very happy to be here. It's just such a pity that we've been knocked out.

"We feel calm and hope to get a positive result for Panama. Tunisia are not as intense or unbreakable as the European teams in the group, but still we aren't favourites in this match. But our intention is to take something to Panama."

Tunisia's boss on his team's performance at the tournament:

"The players have done everything in this World Cup. I have thanked them, because they couldn't do more. Our objective was more than we have done, but we should win this last match especially because Tunisia haven't won any World Cup match for 40 years. We will give a chance to some players that haven't played so far to participate during the last match."

Did you know?

The last time a team lost each of their first three ever World Cup games was in 2006. If Panama lose, they will be added to that list.

Tunisia have already conceded more goals at this World Cup (seven) than they did in any of their previous four tournaments; their previous high was six conceded in 2006.

Prediction: 0-2

Possible lineups:

Panama: Penedo, Escobar, Torres, Baloy, Davis, Gomez, Godoy, Avila, Barcenas, Rodriguez, Perez.

Tunisia: Ben Mustapha, Naguez, Benalouane, Meriah, Maaloul, Skhiri, Khaoui, Sassi, Ben Youssef, Sliti, Khazri.

Simon Green

Simon Green

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