Opposition Scouting Report: How can Tunisia beat Panama?

Tunisia could still end their disappointing World Cup campaign on a high note if they win their first game in the competition since 1978, and up against Panama, they may not have a better opportunity to end their wait.

The Central Americans showed in their opener against Belgium that they were capable of being resolute and organised out of possession, but those qualities deserted them in a miserable 6-1 thrashing by England.

What are Panama's strengths?

Jose Luis Rodriguez has shown some decent signs in this tournament. He was was lively and showed good feet, and demonstrated a quickness to his play.

He has ability to carry the ball drive with pace and has quick feet.

Against England, after going 2-0 down, they had a good spell of possession when they moved the ball at a decent tempo and got behind the England backline.

It's not enough to cause too many concerns in the Tunisian ranks.

What are Panama's weaknesses?

The CONCACAF side are too passive out of the ball. Against England, they had shape, but didn't get tight enough or put the opposition under any significant pressure.

Their tracking of the midfield runners - notably Jesse Lingard - was poor.

As the scoreline got worse, their defensive play deteriorated.

They were very rash and clumsy out of possession, using illegal means to stop their opponents, and delivered arguably the worst display of this tournament.

Their defending on set pieces was woeful. The marking was poor and it was clear that the Panama player weren't aware of their men and gave away unnecessary penalties.

England won virtually all of the aerial balls, and with Wahbi Khazri's delivery largely excellent, Tunisia can expect some joy here.

The Eagles can afford to throw some men forward as well, with Panama offering little threat going forward.


It's something of a minor miracle that Panama have reached this World Cup, and it's hard to see how they'll pick up any points against Tunisia.

Certainly, the Eagles' defensive display won't be as bad as it was against Belgium - they won't be tested as much - and they should be on course for their first win in the competition in 40 years.