Tunisia knows well what awaits them against Angola when they kick off Group E matches at Suez Stadium at 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Monday (24 June 2019).
The Carthage Eagles would like to recall the memories of 2004 when they had their first and only AFCON title at home.
Despite reaching the final three times, Tunisia has only one trophy in their cabinet after finishing as losing finalists in 1965 and 1996. Led by AFCON expert Alain Giresse, the Tunisians are hoping the Frenchman could do his magic this time round.
With a mix between local and abroad based players, Whabi Kharzi’s teammates would have the tough mission of pleasing Tunisian loving supporters who poured in Suez. They may even have the support of Egyptians who know well midfielder Ferjani Sassi who plies his trade with Cairo giants Zamalek.
Meanwhile, Angola are looking for a positive start to their campaign as they are aiming to go past the group stage for the third time in their history. The Palancas Negras only reached the quarter finals in 2008 and 2010, and missed last edition in Gabon.
Angola’s Serbian coach Srdjan Vasiljevic will have Lazio defender Bastos, Sporting Lisbon forward Bruno Gaspar and Al Ahly winger Geraldo to rely on.
What they said
Alain Giresse (Coach, Tunisia)
We are anxiously waiting our first game. We are quiet and focused to get a positive start. Our players are experienced and we have to make use of that. Playing in last year’s FIFA World Cup gives us more confidence to achieve our target. (Youssef) M’sakni is a great player and we are happy to have him back.
Srdjan Vasiljevic (Coach, Angola)
After missing the last two AFCON editions we have to make the difference this time. Tunisia is a very good team but we will do our best to qualify from this group. We have to stay balanced in defense and attack and try to keep the game in our favor.
Previous AFCON encounters
31.01.2008 Tamale Tunisia 0-0 Angola