Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea get their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign underway when they square off at the Stade Olympique de Rades in Group J on Thursday.
The Carthage Eagles, who are unbeaten in five consecutive home outings, head into the game off the back of securing a place in the upcoming World Cup and will look to keep the juggernau
Tunisia were last in action on March 23, when they saw off their West-African counterparts Mali to secure qualification for the 2022 World Cup later in the year.
Having picked up a 1-0 first-leg victory in Bamako courtesy of a first-half own goal by Moussa Sissako, Jalel Kadri’s side put on a defensive masterclass on home turf in the return leg to hold out for a goalless draw and win the tie 1-0 on aggregate.
Prior to that, Tunisia suffered a quarter-final exit from the Africa Cup of Nations back in January, when Lorient forward Dango Ouattara netted on the stroke of half time to hand Burkina Faso a hard-fought victory.
The Carthage Eagles head into Thursday’s game unbeaten in each of their last five games on home turf, picking up four wins and one draw since a 2-0 loss at the hands of Algeria in June 2021.
Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, suffered a 3-1 defeat against Senegal in their most recent outing — a result which saw them crash out of the Africa Cup of Nations in the quarter-finals.
Prior to that, Juan Micha’s side finished runners-up in the group stages with six points from three games in Group E before seeing off Mali on penalties in the round of 16 on January 26.
The Nzalang Nacional head into Thursday’s game unbeaten in 11 of their last 15 outings since 2019, picking up nine wins and two draws in that time.
Equatorial Guinea will now look to keep this solid run going as they eye a second consecutive Africa Cup of Nations appearance for the first time in history.
However, their first task is the challenge of taking on one-time African champions Tunisia, who are unbeaten in five of the last seven meetings between the sides since 2012.
Tunisia form (all competitions):
Equatorial Guinea form (all competitions):
We say: Tunisia 2-1 Equatorial Guinea
Off the back of securing their place in Qatar, Tunisia will head into the game with sky-high confidence as they look to get their qualification campaign off to a flyer. While Equatorial Guinea have put together a fine run of form, we are backing the Carthage Eagles to ease to all three points on home turf.