Tunisia vs Australia — Preview

Match Preview

The size of the gulf in class that Australia faced in their opening game is exemplified by the Expected Goals stats. Those numbers favoured France by 4.25 to 0.57, suggesting the 4-1 win for Les Bleus was a fair reflection of the game. At least The Socceroos face a Tunisian side that is much closer to them in the FIFA Rankings, with Australia ranked 38th and The Eagles of Carthage in 30th. Only 12.3% of the teams that lost their opening World Cup group game have qualified for the last 16, since 1998, so Australia faces an uphill battle to progress.

Other opening game statistics were similar for these two teams. Tunisia attained a highly credible point against dark horses, Denmark, despite having only 39% possession and one shot on target. Australia had 38% of the ball against France and scored with their only shot on goal. Expected Goals from Matchday 1 narrowly favoured Tunisia, 1.40 to 1.19, but they had to survive a late penalty appeal by the Danes. Tunisia fed off the fervent support from the large number of their fans who call Qatar home, and Australian supporters can expect to be heavily outnumbered. A first meeting in 17 years between these two teams, Tunisia won that Confederations Cup game 2-0, and the market suggests they are favourites to triumph again.

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