Mouez Hassen, Raheem Sterling and Ashley Young will be the three players to watch as England take on Tunisia in Group G of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
England will be hoping they can continue their clean record against African oppositions at the World Cup when they meet Tunisia in a Group G clash on Monday. The Three Lions will be looking to open their campaign in Russia on a positive note.
Tunisia though, will have plans of their own, which may play spoilsport. As the two nations get ready to go head-to-head, we take a look at three players who could be crucial to the result come the final whistle.
Mouez Hassen is due back to OGC Nice after a season-long loan spell at Chateauroux, where he did impress a lot despite not being able to plug the leaking of goals at the back.
The 23-year-old has only recently been welcomed into the senior setup for Tunisia and seems to have already displaced Farouk Ben Mustapha as the first-choice. The player is more accustomed to European football and has the advantage of knowing the English way of football after having spent a season at Southampton.
This will be crucial to Tunisia’s hopes of keeping England’s threat in check. Hassen can make a name for himself by the end of the World Cup, with seasoned performances against England and Belgium. The road will start on Monday, with Gareth Southgate and his men the first of his battles.
The poster boy of the media, but for all the wrong reasons. Raheem Sterling has almost always received undeserved criticism from the media for, mostly, his off-field antics and events. But, the on-field Raheem Sterling has been a beast at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, with 18 goals and 15 assists in the league alone this past season.
With Marcus Rashford injured, Gareth Southgate is all but certain to start Sterling alongside Harry Kane in a two-pronged attack. Raheem Sterling will be hoping to silence the British media with his performances at the World Cup and the match against Tunisia will be a good starter for the Manchester City star.
What a year it has been for Ashley Young. Welcomed back as a regular into the starting lineup at Manchester United, Young has reciprocated with his displays that were enough to impress Jose Mourinho and Gareth Southgate as well. The England manager not only decided to take him along on the plane to Russia, but is expected to start the veteran on the left, ahead of Danny Rose.
Young knows this will be his last World Cup and will be eager to use his experience at the new position from the 2017-18 campaign with Manchester United, to do everything he can in order for England to have a successful campaign in Russia.