We know everything about Egypt, just like how they know about us: Tunisia's coach

Mahmoud Sheleib , Tuesday 14 Dec 2021

Tunisia’s coach Mondher Kebaier assured that his team is fully aware of Egypt’s strategies, revealing his team’s readiness for Wednesday's game against the Pharaohs in the FIFA Arab Cup semi-final.

Mondher Kebaier
Tunisia s coach Mondher Kebaier looks on during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 quarter final football match between Tunisia and Oman at the Education City Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan on December 10, 2021. AFP

Both teams qualified as leaders of their respective groups, then Egypt defeated Jordan and Tunisia won the match against Oman in the quarterfinals.

“We’re ready and focused on reaching the final. We know every small and big detail about Egypt, as they know everything about us,” said Kebaier in the pre-game press conference.

The Tunisian national team has four key players who are playing in the Egyptian Premier League: Seifeddine Jaziri, Hamza Mathlouthi, Ali Maaloul, and Fakhereddine Ben Youssef.

The game is expected to witness a small match between club colleagues with Ahly left-back Maaloul of Tunisia possibly confronting his Egyptian right back teammate Akram Tawfik, and Zamalek Tunisian striker Jaziri potentially facing his fellow white knight defender Mahmoud ‘El-Wensh’ Hamdi.

“The pairs are at a high level, whether they play in Egypt or other clubs, and now they are competing to reach the Arab Cup final. The players know the strength points of each other, and we want the details to be on our side,” Kebaier added.

Tunisia have conceded four goals during the Arab Cup; three of which came from long-range shots.

The 51-year-old coach hopes to get through Egypt’s game with clean sheets and work on his team’s weaknesses and improving their goal scoring capabilities.

“Despite being victorious so far, we have positives and negatives. We have a collective thought. It is not easy to score all the chances; and in a tournament like this, to create 4-5 chances in one half, you will not turn them all into goals. We want to develop our players’ finishing skills in order to secure the matches earlier,” Kebaier concluded.

The North African teams will be facing each other in the first semi of the FIFA Arab Cup at 5pm Cairo local time on Wednesday, meanwhile, the other semi-final will be between hosts Qatar and Algeria at 9pm.

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