Tunisia World Cup Focus: Wahbi Khazri hopes to be fit for England clash

Tunisia World Cup Focus: Wahbi Khazri hopes to be fit for England clash
Wahbi Khari

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Jun 11, 2018. 16:01

Tunisia and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri hopes to regain fitness just before their 2018 FIFA World Cup opener against England.

Khazri has been struggling with a thigh injury that he picked up a couple of months ago while on loan at Stade Rennais.

The Carthage Eagles international is one of their most influential players and has been training hard as he tries to prove his fitness before their opening Group G game on Sunday.

"I'm fine. Better every time,” the 27-year-old said.

"I am already training with my team-mates. I feel pretty good. I'm happy to go back to work and play.

"I may not be able to play the 90 minutes but what really matters is that I can help the Tunisia national team. I'm not the leader, it's the whole team.

"We are aware that we have a really tough group. We know that the favourites to advance to the second round are Belgium and England, but we have a good team, which plays well [together]. Let's fight for it.

"We are very focused and working together to achieve what we have set as our goal. We want to win all the matches that we will play. Everyone knows it will be a difficult task, but let's try it."

Moreover, Tunisia's preparations haven't been helped by the timing of Ramadan this year, running from May 16 to the opening weekend of the World Cup.

"It is very difficult. We cannot eat or drink [when we want]. It is very complicated to prepare as we want," admitted Khazri.

Meanwhile Khazri, who looks set to leave Sunderland this summer, says he isn't focusing on his future until after the World Cup.

"If I’m honest, it’s not something I’m thinking about now. I do not want to talk about my future now because I’m focused on the Tunisia national team. My head is only in the World Cup in Russia to try to do my best,” added the 27-year-old.

“After playing with my country, I do not know what will happen. I think the Spanish is the best league in the world. There are teams like Real Madrid that wins the Champions League every year.

"There is also Atletico de Madrid and Barcelona – it is the best competition in the world. How would I not like to play in the league?."

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