Jalel Kadri admits World Cup draw 'has not been kind' to Tunisia ahead of Denmark clash

North Africans also drawn against reigning champions France and Australia in Group D

Jalel Kadri leads a training session at Al Egla facility in Doha as Tunisia prepare to face Denmark at the Qatar 2022 World Cup. AFP
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Tunisia manager Jalel Kadri has admitted his team faces a tough challenge to progress from their World Cup 2022 group as the North African side prepare to open their tournament against Denmark on Tuesday.

Tunisia's last five World Cup appearances have all ended in first-round exits and they will need to advance from a Group D also containing reigning champions France and Australia to avoid another early elimination.

"Our group will not be easy, the draw has not been kind," Kadri told reporters on Monday. "Denmark is among the best squads in Europe. We know they have high quality in every department.

"But we will give our all. We have our strengths, but we also know our weaknesses. We are aware we will be compared to past Tunisia squads."

Former national team assistant Kadri took over as head coach after a quarter-final exit for the team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in February, and immediately led the side to World Cup qualification, losing one of his eight games in charge, a 5-1 reversal at the hands of Brazil.

"In terms of performance, we feel good, we are calm and happy with the results we have achieved. We are representing all Arab nations and we deserve to be here," he said.

Tunisia have two players in the Danish league, Anis Ben Slimane at Brondby and Issam Jebali with Odense.

The latter says he has not been able to provide any special insight into Tuesday’s opponents as the Tunisian technical team have been meticulous in their planning.

"We have a great technical staff and they have prepared well for the game," Jebali said. "We know the Danish set-up, how they play and even how they think. We have a very good chance, we are a good squad. We are strong, we trust each other and have a good team spirit."

After facing Denmark at Education City Stadium, Tunisia take on Australia on Saturday before concluding their group matches against France next Wednesday.

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Updated: November 22, 2022, 5:07 AM