June 16, 2018 / 2:34 PM / 9 months ago

Key Tunisia players passed fit for England opener

Soccer Football - World Cup - Tunisia Training - Selyatino, Russia - June 13, 2018 Tunisia's Wahbi Khazri during training REUTERS/Albert Gea

MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) - Tunisia will field key players Wahbi Khazri and Ali Maaloul in their opening World Cup game against England on Monday after the pair were declared fit as the squad on Saturday headed to Volgograd for their Group G clash.

Khazri, who will likely lead the attack, had not played since the end of the Ligue 1 season in France where he had suffered a thigh strain in action for Stade Rennes.

Maaloul, whose overlapping runs are also key to Tunisia’s attacking hopes, had been injured playing in last week’s friendly against Spain in Krasnodar but was cleared after scans, officials said on Saturday.

Tunisia have already been hard hit by injuries to creative winger Youssef Msakni and striker Taha Yassine Khenissi, who both missed out on the World Cup.

Msakni had been invited to watch Monday’s game in Volgograd by the Tunisian federation.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Nizhny Novgorod; Editing by Ken Ferris

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