BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Leading newspaper in Tunisia, La Presse, has conceded this Sunday’s match of Tunisia and Nigeria to the Nigerian team.
In its Sunday edition, it summed up that it would be difficult for the team to overcome Nigeria.
It wrote: “The mission of our players promises, of course, to be difficult this evening against the best selection of the tournament, Nigeria. However, in football as in life, there is always hope. Our players have nothing to lose and everything to gain from challenging the best selection in the tournament.”
The publication went on to lament the fact that Tunisia would be without their chief coach, Jalel Kadri who was given a red card by the referee at the end of their last match with The Gambia.
It is even more deplorable considering that the coach has not been spared by COVID-19.
The team has been heavily depleted by COVID-19. Even the technical staff was not spared, starting with the national coach Mondher Kebaïer, passing through the team doctor Dr. Souheil Chemli and the goalkeeping coach, Chedly Mabrouki.
The newspaper announced the recovery of one of the Covid-19 effected players, Naïm Sliti, but it doubted if he would be match fit.
Another player that could make a comeback to the team, Aymen Dahmen, the second goalkeeper who was expelled in the previous match.
La Presse of Tunisia stated further, “it is an unprecedented situation that Jalel Kadri (the assistant coach) will face this evening, with a reduced technical staff and a reduced workforce due to covid contamination, not to mention the trip to Garoua, a little more than 1,300 km from Limbé, which reduced the preparation time for the Nigeria match, knowing that our opponent benefited from additional recovery time.”
Continueing, La Presse repoerts: “In short, all indicators turn in favour of Nigeria, moreover, best selection of the tournament. But as they say, as long as there is life, there is hope!
“Jalel Kadri and the players, who will set foot on the Roumdé Adjia stadium tonight, have nothing to lose and everything to gain from challenging the best team in the tournament.
“What we expect from our national team is to give us a heroic performance and that discipline is there, starting with the bench of substitutes. And who knows, in football, it’s not necessarily the favourite that wins.”