TUNISIA will host North African rivals Algeria in their opening Group D encounter of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium tonight.
The two sides are no strangers to one another, having played each other on 47 separate occasions, and will chalk up number 48 when they meet in what will be the second game of the ‘Group of Death’, with Ivory Coast and Togo kicking off proceedings earlier in the day.
The Carthage Eagles, meanwhile, last lifted the AFCON title on home soil in 2004, having finished as runners-up in the 1965 and 1996 instalments, while three of their last four involvements in the tournament have ended at the quarter-final stage.
On the team front, Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi will be looking to 22-year-old Youssef Msakni to pull the strings in midfield, while the country’s top-scorer Issam Jemaa is set to lead the line up front.
For Algeria, Valencia star Sofiane Feghouli will be carrying much of the nation’s hopes, with the La Liga star having a wealth of experience to call on at the tournament.
The last time the two sides met it was Algeria who came out on top, winning 1-0 in a friendly in 2011, while the Desert Warriors’ biggest win over their upcoming opponents was an 8-0 thrashing away from home in 1958.