Preview: Namibia vs. Tunisia – prediction, team news, lineups

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Preview: Namibia vs. Tunisia – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s World Cup Qualifying – Africa clash between Namibia and Tunisia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Namibia aim to continue their undefeated start to World Cup qualifying when they host Tunisia at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

Both sides are neck-and-neck in Group H, and the Brave Warriors could leapfrog the North African side if they secure maximum points.

Match preview

© Reuters

Five months removed from their Africa Cup of Nations match in Korhogo, Namibia and Tunisia battle in World Cup qualifying, with the Brave Warriors keen to stun the Eagles of Carthage again.

That triumph in Cote d’Ivoire was the underdogs’ first in the continental competition, helping to take them into the knockout stage for the first time.

Several months after, Collin Benjamin‘s men aim to extend their undefeated start to their World Cup qualifiers to four matches, having played out a 1-1 draw with Liberia on June 5.

That point followed the awarded win over Equatorial Guinea — an upshot of Emilio Nsue‘s ineligibility — and success over Sao Tome (2-0), as Liberia prevented the Brave Warriors from moving level with their North African opponents.

Nevertheless, Benjamin will be aware of his side’s ongoing winless run since that win over Tunisia in January, underlined by firing blanks in losses to South Africa (4-0) and Angola (3-0) at the continental showpiece and scoring just twice in their last five matches.

Tunisia's Hamza Rafia celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on September 12, 2023© Reuters

As for Tunisia, they could create separation from their hosts in Johannesburg, keen to remain one of the nations with a 100% record in the qualifying series.

Wednesday’s 1-0 win over the Equatoguineans followed triumphs against Sao Tome (4-0) and Malawi (1-0), underscored by the Eagles of Carthage’s sequence of clean sheets in Group H.

Montasser Louhichi will back his team to continue that run, with the caretaker still yet to see his players concede since taking charge temporarily to replace Jalel Kadri after their Cup of Nations elimination.

The seeming bugbear for the Eagles of Carthage has been a shortage of goalscoring threat, underlined by firing blanks in friendly games against Croatia and New Zealand in March.

Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane‘s goal last time out came from the spot, further highlighting the table-topping Tunisia’s goalscoring bugbear heading into the fourth match in qualifying.

Namibia World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:

Namibia form (all competitions):

Tunisia World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:

Tunisia form (all competitions):

Team News

Namibia's Deon Hotto celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 16, 2024© Reuters

With Peter Shalulile not in the Namibia squad, the Brave Warriors must find goals from elsewhere in the side against the North Africans.

Tjipenandjambi Carl Karuuombe‘s goal against Liberia last time out was the first competitive one scored by Benjamin’s men since defeating the Eagles of Carthage in January, and the midfield man should start in what could be a similar side that played against Liberia a few days back.

Youssef Msakni has netted two of Tunisia’s goals in qualifying but the 33-year-old wide attacker’s absence could further limit Tunisia’s goalscoring threat.

Aissa Laidouni was replaced after 36 minutes against Equatorial Guinea, possibly ruling out the Union Berlin man on Sunday.

Namibia possible starting lineup:
Kazapua; Ikeinge, Hambira, Kamberipa, Hanamub; Karuuombe, Petrus; Namib, Kasume, Hotto; Kalula

Tunisia possible starting lineup:
Said; Mathlouthi, Meriah, Talbi, Abdi; Romdhane, Skhiri, Ghandri; Rafia, Achouri, Saad

SM words green background

We say: Namibia 0-0 Tunisia

While a goalless outcome may not materialise, it is hard to see a different outcome given both sides’ recent form in front of goal.

Namibia have scored twice in their last five matches and the Brave Warriors could fire blanks against a Tunisia side yet to concede in World Cup qualifying. However, with no goals from open play under Louhichi, Sunday’s game could see both sides cancel each other out in Johannesburg.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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