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Sam Allardyce expects strong Tunisia side to trouble England

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Former England manager Sam Allardyce expects small African side Tunisia to be no pushovers when the two international squads go head-to-head at the World Cup this evening.

Allardyce, who shocked the entire nation by becoming the shortest ever tenured permanent England manager, resigned from his "dream job" by mutual consent after giving advice on how to avoid the FA's third party ownership rules.

Big Sam, currently without a club after being sacked by Everton in replacement for former Watford manager Marco Silva, believes that his old side of just 67 days could be troubled by the African side.

The former Sunderland and West Ham United manager pointed to Tunisia's recent friendly results against some of Europe's elite competition to suggest that the resurgent African side may cause Gareth Southgate's men some problems in Group G.

Tunisia, who will be making their first World Cup appearance since 2006 when they square off against the Three Lions, have done admirably well in their last friendlies against Euro 2016 winners Portugal, and 2010 World Cup champions Spain. 

The North African side managed a 2-2 draw with the reigning European champions, albeit without superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and lost out to Spain only in the last minute of play.

Looking at these friendly appearances, Allardyce sees this as major progress for the North African side who may be a surprise factor in Russia.

Sam Allardyce, speaking at the launch of the William Hill Arms Pub, said: "It won’t be an easy game that’s for sure because they drew 2-2 with Portugal and they only lost to Spain in the last minute.

"They had two friendlies against two exceptionally good teams and only lost in the 93rd minute against Spain.

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"So I think you can see that this is not going to be a walkover by any stretch of the imagination and this going to be very difficult.

"Tunisia are probably the best African side around at the moment."

Great praise from the former England manager on the African nation, however, despite Allardyce's words, anything except a win would be considered a great upset for the young Three Lions.

Southgate's men, captained by Tottenham's Harry Kane, won't find themselves under as much pressure as previous England sides, as the 'golden generation' of early 00s found out the hard way. However, there are still expectations that must be met, and getting past Tunisia in the opener is certainly one of them.

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England have had no shortage of talent whatsoever when major tournaments come around, but the team has made a habit of underperforming at the wrong times.

The journey back to the top all begins with Tunisia tonight in Russia.

Sam Allardyce was speaking at the William Hill Arms, the pub which will offer fans the ultimate England watching experience including expert analysis, plus free food and drink. For your chance to win exclusive access to England’s group games with Emile Heskey and Sam Allardyce at the pub, head to William Hill's Twitter or Facebook pages. England are 16/1 with William Hill to win the World Cup. #ThisIsMore #itscominghome

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