1:38 p.m. ET — Tunisia is not starting Saîf-Eddine Khaoui, who I picked as one of my breakout players of the tournament, because apparently Tunisia coach Nabil Maâloul is determined to make me look like a big dumb idiot.
Here’s what I wrote about Khaoui:
Just 23 years old, playing an attacking winger or pure 10 role, Khaoui doesn’t possess truly elite speed or skill, but what I will say about him is: He tries shit. Tunisia builds their team on the counter, and what I love about Khaoui is he always seems eager to get the ball and try something creative.
So, uh, cool, Tunisia. Leave him out. Fun stuff. Awesome.
1:30 p.m. ET — Welcome to the live blog! England is coming into this World Cup feeling loose, free, excited, and wait a minute what is this? This isn’t England soccer that I’ve grown to know and understand over the last 30 years. Led by Harry Kane and a young group of athletic, fun players, they seem to be coming in ready to make a run at this. Still, I’m sure they’ll find a way to create a crisis of some sort and turn this into a media circus. It’s the English. It’s what they do.
Tunisia in their run up has actually tried some really interesting things tactically. They say they’re lining up in a 4-3-3, but it really functions more like a 4-5-1, but they love to take turns sending a midfielder to go and press high like a second forward, so for a lot of the game they look like they’re in a 4-4-2. It’s interesting from a tactical standpoint, but for non total soccer nerds, the big takeaway is: They’re going to hang back and try and defend against a much more talented England side.
Lineups Tunisia vs. England time, TV channel, and streaming info