Trabelsi’s 22 to face Iran
Yesterday Sami Trabelsi announced his roster for the August 15 friendly against Iran that will take place in Budapest. While opinions will undoubtedly vary, I’d go ahead and call it a near perfect list.
Aside for the confusing omissions of Moez Ben Cherifia, Aymen Balbouli, and a deserving Hamza Ben Younes, the squad looks solid and our coach’s decisions appear reasonable.
Hamdi Kasraoui’s recall looks like more of a morale boost for the want-away Lens second string keeper than anything else. It’s a nice gesture from Trabelsi on a personal level but it’s far from thrilling on a competitive one.
The same can’t be said for Farouk Ben Mustapha’s return. He’s done enough at club level to be worthy of his place. Other notable returnees are Ousamma Darragi, who’s starting and assisting in practically every match for FC Sion thus far, and Iheb Mbarki who also looks to have nailed down a starting spot at Evian alongside Saber Khlifa and Zouhaier Dhaouadi.
Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (CAB), Hamdi Kasraoui (Lens)
Defenders: Aymen Abdennour (Toulouse), Bilel Ifa (CA), Anis Boussaidi (FC Rostov), Khalil Chammam (EST), Chamseddine Dhaouadi (ESS), Fateh Gharbi (CSS), Ammar Jemal (Young Boys), Iheb Mbarki (Evian)
Midfielders: Nour Hadhria (CAB), Wissem Ben Yahia (Mersin), Hatten Baratli (CA), Youssef Msakni (EST), Oussama Darragi (FC Sion), Chadi Hammami (Kuwaiti), Anis Ben Hatira (Hertha Berlin), Jamel Saihi (Montpellier)
Strikers: Issam Jemaa (Kuwaiti), Hamdi Harbaoui (Lokeren), Sami Allagui (Hertha Berlin), Saber Khelifa (Evian)
While Zou missed out on this list, another Dhaouadi got his inaugural call-up. The Etoile defender will look to make an impression in training and plant a seed in Trabelsi’s mind that he can be useful in the long term. Bassem Boulaabi had a good first showing for the NT that ended in injury so there’s no reason Chamseddine can’t shoot for a similar performance, minus the broken clavicle of course.
At this point, no one should be that surprised that Chadi Hammami and Issam Jemaa remain in the team despite their moves to a less glamorous destination in Kuwait. They can still be useful to us so long as they stay in top physical shape. Otherwise, we may have to start looking elsewhere.
Anyone who was hoping that this game would signal the recruitment of Saphir Taider, Wissam Ben Yedder, and/or Wahbi Khazri will be left slightly disappointed. Contacts with them are reportedly ongoing and I’m sure that if Trabelsi hasn’t called them up then he must have his reasons. Also, too bad Lassad Nouioui is still looking for a club. Last I heard, Besiktas were interested. If he was already settled there by now, I bet he’d be on this list.
With that, I think we’ve covered up pretty much all the bases except for mentioning Abdelkader Oueslati. We definitely need to keep an eye on his performances at Atletico Madrid this year. After all, you can never really have enough good strikers…
In Other News
Here’s our junior team that will travel to Gabon to try to overturn a 2-2 draw in Tunisia against the Scorpions in U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualification: Seif Lahwel, Achraf Jelassi, Oussama Lahssini, Youssef Trabelsi, Haythem Jouini, Seif Jaziri, Zied Ounelli, Idriss Mhirssi, Sadok Kraiem, Imed Louati, Radhouane Khalfaoui, Ibrahim Naili, Adam Rejaibi, Mortadha Ben Ouannes, Chiheb Ben Fraj, Zied Machmoum, Seifallah Meskini, Mohamed Jendoubi, Achraf Manai, Fehmi Kacem, Ali Abdi.
That one isn’t going to be easy at all as we basically need to win outright to advance or score two goals or more in a draw.
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