2018 World Cup: Leicester City’s Benalouane in Tunisia’s 23-man squad

Leicester City defender Yohan Benalouane, who only made his international debut in March, is in Nabil Maaloul’s 23-man Tunisia squad for the World Cup in Russia.

Former France youth internationals Seifeddine Khaoui, Ellyes Skhiri and Mouez Hassen are also included, having pledged their futures to the Carthage Eagles.

Long-term absentees Mohamed Larbi, Karim Laribi and Ahmed Akaichi have been left out, along with Scotland-based Bilel Mohsni.

Other omissions from the original 29-man squad include the Esperance duo of Moez Ben Cherifia and Khalil Chammam.

The star quartet of Wahbi Khazri, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor, Ali Maaloul and Naim Sliti are on the official list, as announced by Tunisia’s Football Federation.

The Carthage Eagles drew 2-2 with Turkey in Geneva on Friday night, having also drawn 2-2 in their previous warm-up match against reigning European champions Portugal on Monday.

Maaloul’s men will base themselves in Switzerland before moving on to Russia for their final warm-up fixture against Spain in Krasnodar on 9 June.

Tunisia will face England, Belgium and Panama in Group G of the World Cup, which starts on 14 June.

Their opening match against England will be the second World Cup meeting between the two countries, with the Three Lions having won 2-0 at France ’98.

The North Africans will face Belgium in their second group game, before concluding the phase against Panama.

Having qualified for three successive World Cups between 1998 and 2006, Tunisia missed the tournaments in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.

Tunisia’s final 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Moez Hassen (Chateauroux, France), Aymen Mathlouthi (Al Baten, Saudi Arabia)

Defenders: Rami Bedoui (Etoile du Sahel), Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City, England), Syam Ben Youssef (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Dylan Bronn (Gent, Belgium), Oussama Haddadi (Dijon, France), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly, Egypt), Yassine Meriah (CS Sfaxien), Hamdi Nagguez (Zamalek, Egypt)

Midfielders: Anice Badri (Esperance), Mohamed Amine Ben Amor (Al Ahli Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Ghaylene Chaalali (Esperance), Ahmed Khalil (Club Africain), Saifeddine Khaoui (Troyes, France), Ferjani Sassi (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier, France), Naim Sliti (Dijon, France), Bassem Srarfi (Nice, France)





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