Jose Mourinho backs England to beat Tunisia in World Cup opener

Jose Mourinho believes England will not suffer the same fate as several other top nations and pick up a victory in their opening World Cup match.

Gareth Southgate’s side face Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday evening having not won their opening game in any of their previous four major tournaments.

Spain, Argentina, Germany and Brazil have all failed to start their campaigns in Russia with a victory, but Manchester United manager Mourinho believes England should have too much for Tunisia.

He told Russia Today: “I watched Tunisia against Portugal in the last friendly that Portugal played before the World Cup and, honestly, I didn’t like much.

“I consider Tunisia a similar team in terms of potential and style to Morocco, for example. I think England should win.

“But Brazil should win, Germany should win and Argentina should win, so I don’t know.

“Tomorrow is a day where two strong teams and two strong squads in Belgium and England come to play with three at the back plus wing-backs, so let’s see how the smaller teams are going to adapt to that.”

Mourinho also said Sunday was an “amazing day for football” after both Germany and Brazil failed to win their opening World Cup group games.

World champions Germany were stunned 1-0 by Mexico in Moscow on Sunday afternoon, while Brazil were pegged back by Switzerland in a 1-1 draw in Rostov later that evening.

World Cup report: Brazil 1-1 Switzerland
World Cup report: Germany 0-1 Mexico

“It’s an amazing day for football,” he added.

“I’m pretty sure that Gianni Infantino is happy. I’m pretty sure that people that really love football and are not just focused on supporting some team will be happy.

“I am happy, I am really happy with the results today. This is the beauty of football. Sometimes in other sports this is not possible.

“The reality is that some of the teams are showing they can be better than the sum of their parts. Have Switzerland got a special player? They don’t have that.

“But the goalkeeper was solid, Schar was fantastic, the midfield was solid. Seferovic was not dangerous but he worked fantastically well for the team.

“The sum of the parts was better than the sum of the individuals. In 10 times they can get three draws and win one – and this is the beauty of football.”

However, Mourinho believes all of the top nations will recover from their slow starts, insisting Germany and Argentina will show their best in the later stages of the tournament.

“I don’t think it’s a drama for them,” he added.

“I think they all know how good they are. I think they all know they are going to improve.

“It’s probably good for them to put their feet on the ground and it’s probably good for their countrymen also to keep calm.

“Obviously in big football nations, there are lots of expectations. Critics will come. Not my profile of pundit, but other profiles love the blood. They will come strong immediately.

“They all will qualify and the best of these top teams will come in the knock-out.”




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