Tunisia's national coach Nabil Maâloul has revealed he is fearing England's Raheem Sterling more than Harry Kane when the two countries play against each other in the World Cup finals this year. Maaloul was speaking in Doha on Monday, where the Tunisian national team are preparing for Russia with a 14-day winter training camp at the Aspire Zone. Tunisia will meet England in their opening game of the 2018 World Cup, which also contains Belgium and Panama.
Asked about his country's prospects in the opening match, and specific players, Maaloul pointed to the threat from the Manchester City star Sterling rather than the Tottenham forward and English captain.
"The most dangerous player for me is Sterling, I think he is one of the best players," Maaloul said. "People say that Harry Kane is the biggest risk but I think Raheem Sterling is the one. He is the biggest threat as a player."
He added: "It's a young team, it's changed in recent years. The kind of English football has changed a lot after they hired coaches like Guardiola or Conte. It's a new kind of football, but we are going to be prepared."
Tunisia will be appearing in their fifth World Cup in Russia. Their first was in Argentina in 1978 where, despite beating Mexico and drawing with West Germany, they failed to make it out of the group stage.
Tunisia has yet to reach the knockout stages of a World Cup and Russia could prove tough with top seed Belgium ranked number five in the world and England at 15. "We are going to be in a very difficult group," said Maaloul. "We are going to play Belgium and England but we have started our preparations. For both teams, we have preparations we are thinking about."
Tunisia, who are ranked 27th in the world have yet to confirm their games prior to the World Cup, whilst England have lined up friendly encounters with the Netherlands, Italy, Nigeria & Costa Rica before taking on Tunisia at the Volgograd Arena on the 18th of June.