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New faces represent risk for Tunisia & Maaloul

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The Carthage Eagles: Brothers at Arms

Football
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Khenissi, Msakni absences leave Tunisia short

Nabil Maaloul unveiled Tunisia's provisional World Cup squad on Monday, but while the Eagles of Carthage have reasons for optimism, their striking shortage risks leaving them without a goal threat this summer.

The North Africans are back on the grandest stage of all for the first time since 2006, and they already have their work cut out after being pooled in a testing group alongside England, Belgium and Panama.

Indeed, with the two European heavyweights up first, the Eagles appear primed to be...

Tunisia's injury concerns could derail underdogs at the start

Ian Darke asks the ESPN panel which of the five African nations has the best chance of making a big splash at the 2018 World Cup.
Ian Darke leads the ESPN panel in predicting the 2018 World Cup winner with names of Germany, Brazil, France and England among the list.

The 2018 World Cup is just over a month away and all 32 teams are preparing in earnest for their shot at the trophy in Russia. ESPN FC is previewing every team ahead of the opening game on June 14. Find all 32 teams here.

Who they are

Captain: Aymen Mathlouthi
Manager: Nabil Maaloul
Nickname: The Eagles of Carthage
FIFA Rank (as of April 12, 2018): 14

How they qualified

Tunisia were drawn into arguably the most favourable of the five African qualifying groups, with the Democratic Republic of...



FIFA to prepay $2m in bonuses to five African World Cup participants

ESPN's Gab Marcotti breaks down which of the African teams he believes have the best chances in their groups at the 2018 World Cup.

CAIRO -- FIFA will give five African football federations a $2 million advance each on World Cup prize money to pay player bonuses before the tournament in Russia.

The Confederation of African Football says the agreement for Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia will help "settle beforehand the question of bonuses."

The 32 federations sending teams to the World Cup get $1.5m each from FIFA to prepare, plus at least $8m in prize money after the tournament. The winner gets $38m.

Money disputes...

Tunisia star Youssef Msakni set to miss World Cup after knee injury

Youssef Msakni of Tunisia
Youssef Msakni will not be able to play for Tunisia in the World Cup.

Tunisia's top player, Youssef Msakni, is set to miss the World Cup after suffering a knee ligament injury.

The technically gifted attacking midfielder tore a cruciate ligament while playing for Qatari club Al-Duhail in a 5-2 win over Al-Sailiya.

Al-Duhail said in a statement that Msakni "will be absent for three to four months."

Unbeaten during their qualifying campaign, Tunisia are making a return to the World Cup for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles of Carthage will take part in their fifth...