Sunday Aug 29, 2021. 12:00
Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaïer has named just four home-based players in his 26-member squad that will face Chipolopolo Zambia on September 7 away at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on match-day -two game of their 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup Group B qualifiers.
With the Tunisia Ligue 1 only kicking off on October 16, Keabier has cautiously selected just three home-based goalkeepers and an outfield player.
Midfielder Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane of Esperance and his club mate and goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha are part of the domestic quartet together with Ali Jemal of Etoile du Sahel and Béchir Ben Saïd from US Monastir.
Two English-based players are also in the team namely Manchester United midfielder Hannibal Mehbril and Arsenal defender Mar Rekik.
But it is uncertain whether they would be released for national duty considering that Tunisia is on the UK’s Red Listed Covid-19 nations and are travelling to Zambia who are also in a similar status.
Danish-born midfielder Anis Ben Sliamne, who made his debut in last October’s 3-0 friendly win over Sudan in which he scored a goal, and since then cemented his place in the team, is on the list of the players for the September 3 opening Group B home date against Equatorial Guinea at Rades before Tunisia heads to Ndola.
Meanwhile, Tunisia kicked training on Saturday with seven out of the nine players to report for camp all foreign-based.
They included the Egypt-based Ismaily striker Fakhreddine Ben Youssef plus the Zamalek duo of defender Hamza Mathlouthi and striker Seifeddine Jaziri.
Veteran striker Youssef Msakni of Al Arabi in Qatar was also part of day-one training.
Tunisia will leave for Zambia on September 5 ahead of their Ndola date with Chipolopolo.
GOALKEEPERS: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Esperance), Ali Jemal (Etoile du Sahel), Béchir Ben Saïd (US Monastir)
DEFENDERS: Dylan Bronn (Metz, France), Yessine Meriah (Al Ain, UAE), Montassar Talbi (Rubin Kazan, Ukraine), Oussama Haddadi (Kasimpasa ,Turkey), Omar Rekik (Arsenal, England), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly,Egypt), Ali Abdi (FC Paris, France), Wajdi Kechrida (Salemitana,Italy), Mohamed Dräger (Olympiakos,Greece), Hamza Mathlouthi (Zamalek,Egypt)
MIDFIELDERS: Elyès Skhiri (FC Koln, Germany), Ferjani Sassi (Al-Duhali,Qatar), Anis Ben Slimane (Brondby, Denmark), Issa Laidouni (Ferencvaros,Hungary), Saad Bguir (Abha ,Saudi Arabia), Hamza Rafia (Standard Liege, Belgium), Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Esperance) ,Hannibal Mejbri (Manchester United)
FORWARDS: Youssef Msakni (Al Arabi, Qatar), Wahbi Khazri (Saint Etienne, France), Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek, Egypt), Seifeddine Khaoui (Clermont, France), Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Ismaily, Egypt)