England take on Tunisia this evening in their opening World Cup fixture. Whilst not many names on The Eagles of Carthage team-sheet will ring a bell there are some familiar faces. Sunderland fans will know all too well the talents of attacker Wahbi Khazri, who still remains a Black Cat.
Leicester City fans will, however, be forgiven for forgetting that one of the Tunisia players is still at the King Power. Yohan Benalouane will be hoping to make just his fifth appearance for the Tunisia national team against England this evening.
Born in France the 31-year-old had been called up by Tunisia two times previously. However, his form at Parma and Atalanta saw him on the cusp of a French call-up and he always turned down the nation of his heritage. Until March, when he finally decided to accept the call and become a Tunisian international.
Now he is fighting for his place in the starting XI, something he is used to with Leicester.
Signed from Atalanta in a deal rumoured to be worth £5.6 million he arrived on the same day as N’Golo Kante. Whilst the latter went on to help Leicester claim the title, the Tunisian has had a far less impressive run with the Foxes.
He barely featured in Leicester’s title-winning campaign, spending an unsuccessful spell on loan at Fiorentina in the second half of the campaign. His game time was so minimal he did not receive a winner’s medal.
The following season he was initially not given a squad number but he was brought in from the cold by new manager Craig Shakespeare.
But this season has again been a struggle for Benalouane. He played just one game in the Premier League last season, a 2-0 loss against West Ham in May.
Tonight his place in the starting XI, much like his Foxes team-mates and England stars Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy, is up for debate. But he will be chomping at the bit to keep England quiet and prove a point to his parent club Leicester ahead of another season at the King Power.