Look ahead to Tuesday’s Group E action at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with our Tunisia vs Namibia prediction and preview.
Tunisia vs Namibia: Pre-Match Facts
- Tunisia are predicted as big favourites for this Group E game by the Opta supercomputer, which considers their win probability to be 61%.
- This will be the first encounter between Tunisia and Namibia at the Africa Cup of Nations. They last faced each other in a November 2007 friendly, which Tunisia won 2-0 at home.
- This is Tunisia’s 21st participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, and their 16th in a row, the latter being a record in the history of the tournament. Their only AFCON title dates back to 2004 as hosts. Since then, they’ve progressed past the quarter-finals just once, in 2019, losing in the third-place match.
- Tunisia have failed to win any of their last four opening matches at the Africa Cup of Nations (D2 L2). The last time they were victorious in their first game at an edition of the tournament was in 2013 against Algeria (1-0).
- None of Tunisia’s last eight matches at the AFCON have ended in a draw (W3 L5) – their last stalemate was against Ghana in the round of 16 in the 2019 edition.
- Tunisia conceded just one goal in six qualification games for this tournament, fewer than any other team.
- This is Namibia’s fourth appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations, last qualifying in 2019. They have finished bottom of their group in each of their three previous participations.
- Namibia have lost seven of their nine matches at the Africa Cup of Nations (D2). Coming into this year’s tournament, only Benin (14) and Mozambique (12) have played more AFCON games than Namibia (9) without ever winning.
- Namibia have conceded 2.7 goals per game at the Africa Cup of Nations (24 in nine games), more than any other team to have taken part in more than one edition of the tournament.
- Tunisia’s Youssef Msakni will attempt to score in a record-equalling sixth Africa Cup of Nations tournament (currently shared by four players including Ghana’s André Ayew). He found the net on average every 22 minutes during the group stage of the qualifiers for this year’s tournament (five goals in 110 minutes), the best ratio of any player with two or more goals.
- Peter Shalulile scored four of Namibia’s six goals in the group stage of the qualifiers. He was the only player alongside Victor Osimhen and Patson Daka to score in four different matches.
Anything other than progress from Group E will be a major disappointment for Tunisia, who begin their Africa Cup of Nations campaign on Tuesday against one of the least-fancied teams in the whole tournament, Namibia, at Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo.
The Carthage Eagles may be without a few recognisable names, with Wahbi Khazri retiring from the national team in 2022, Manchester United’s Hannibal Mejbri opting out of the squad and Elias Saad being blacklisted, but they should still have enough to at least avoid the failure of group stage elimination. Beating Namibia first up would see them take a big step towards the knockouts considering four of the best third-place teams also go through.
Beyond that, though, there aren’t many expecting them to go that deep into the tournament. Head coach Jalel Kadri isn’t particularly highly regarded at home, they aren’t known for playing especially exciting football and have got past the quarter-finals once (2019) since winning their maiden title as hosts in 2004.
Nevertheless, qualifying presented few issues for Tunisia, who won Group J ahead of Equatorial Guinea, Botswana and Libya. They took 13 points from their six matches, the same as Equatorial Guinea, edging them out on goal difference thanks to beating Botswana on 7 September 2023, while Equatorial Guinea drew with Libya in the final round of matches.
This will be Tunisia’s 21st participation in the tournament and a run to the semi-finals would likely be seen as a good account, seeing them go one better than in the 2021 edition when they were eliminated 1-0 by Burkina Faso in the last eight.
By contrast, Namibia are one of the least experienced sides at this level in the tournament. They’ve only participated at the AFCON three times before this and never made it out of their group, earning only two points over their three appearances.
But they just about did enough to qualify for AFCON 2023 as runners-up in Group C, edging out Burundi by a point. Kenya were also drawn into their section but were disqualified due to the Football Kenya Federation’s suspension by FIFA.
Namibia won five points from their four games, with a surprise win over group winners Cameroon proving decisive – Peter Shalilule and Absalom Iimbondi got the goals in a 2-1 victory.
No team qualified for AFCON on a later date than Namibia on 12 September 2023 (Cameroon qualified the same day).
Tunisia vs Namibia Head-to-Head
Tunisia and Namibia have never met in the AFCON before; the last time they faced each other in any official game was a 2007 friendly that the Carthage Eagles won 2-0.
Tunisia vs Namibia Prediction
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tunisia are firm favourites to begin their Group E campaign with a victory as the Opta supercomputer rates their chances at 61% for this game. Namibia came out on top in 19.2% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations, slightly less often than the draw (19.8%).
In the week leading up to AFCON 2023, our pre-tournament predictions had Tunisia going all the way 6.3% of the time, making them eighth favourites and less than half as likely to win the trophy as frontrunners and defending champions Senegal (12.8%).
Namibia, on the other hand, had their success chances rated at just 0.5%, making them the least likely to win it all alongside Angola.
Below you’ll find the current, up-to-date chances of progression for both teams all the way through AFCON 2023 according to the Opta supercomputer:
Tunisia vs Namibia Squads
Tunisia: Mouez Hassen, Béchir Ben Saïd, Aymen Dahmen, Wajdi Kechrida, Yassine Meriah, Oussama Haddadi, Montassar Talbi, Ali Maâloul, Ali Abdi, Yan Valery, Hamza Jelassi, Naïm Sliti, Ellyes Skhiri, Bassem Srarfi, Sayfallah Ltaief, Hadj Mahmoud, Aïssa Laïdouni, Mohamed Ben Romdhane, Alaa Ghram, Houssem Tka, Hamza Rafia, Anis Ben Slimane, Youssef Msakni, Taha Khenissi, Elias Achouri, Haythem Jouini, Seifeddine Jaziri.
Coach: Jalel Kadri
Namibia: Edward Maova, Kamaijanda Ndisiro, Lloyd Kazapua, Ivan Kamberipa, Denzil Haoseb, Ryan Nyambe, Kennedy Amutenya, Riaan Hanamub, Lubeni Haukongo, Charles Hambira, Aprocius Petrus, Joslin Kamatuka, Petrus Shitembi, Deon Hotto, Ngero Katua, Ananias Gebhardt, Absalom Iimbondi, Marcell Papama, Bethuel Muzeu, Peter Shalulile, Prins Tjiueza, Wendell Rudath, Uetuuru Kambato.
Coach: Collin Benjamin