When Tunisia takes on England this evening at Volgograd Stadium, the African side will be attempting to have its first victory in 40 years at the World Cup.
Tunisia have gone 11 previous World Cup matches without a win. It is the longest winless streak of all the 32 teams competing at Russia 2018. Paradoxically, Tunisia which became the first African side to win a match at the World Cup did it in the very first match.
That was at Argentina ’78 when the Tunisians beat Mexico, 3-1. However, the winless streak of Tunisia is still shorter than that of Bulgaria which the Super Eagles of Nigeria extended to 17 matches following an emphatic 3-0 defeat of the Hristo Stoichkov-powered European side in 1994.
Tonight’s encounter with England will be the third time both teams will be meeting. One of the earlier encounters ended in a win for England white the second was a draw.
In their last encounter which was 20 years ago at France ’98, England’s current coach, Gareth Southgate played the entire 90 minutes in the 2-0 defeat of Tunisia.
He will be hoping for a repeat win, more over as England has never lost a World Cup match played on a June 18 date. There are two instances of such, a 3-0 defeat of Paraguay in 1986 and a 0-0 draw with Algeria in 2010.
Moreover, Tunisia have failed to beat European opposition in eight attempts in the World Cup getting three draws and five defeats.
On the contrary, England are unbeaten in six meetings with African sides, getting three wins and three draws that included their 0-0 with the Super Eagles in Japan.