The tournament debutants have surpassed all expectations to reach this stage and face opponents who have not been at their best
Madagascar and Tunisia will compete at the Al Salam Stadium to become the final side into the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals.
In their first appearance at the finals, Madagascar have gone down a storm, going undefeated through the group stage before ousting DR Congo on penalties in the last 16.
Tunisia have a greater history of success on the football field but only squeezed through as one of the best third-placed sides after drawing their three group stages, before defeating Ghana on penalties.
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on Eurosport 2 and is available to stream via Eurosport Player.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Eurosport 2||Eurosport Player|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Dabo, Randrianasolo, Adrien|
|Defenders||Randrianarisoa, Razakanantenaina, Morel, Rambeloson, Metanire, Fontaine, Mombris|
|Midfielders||Baggio, Ilaimaharitra, Caloin, Andrianarimanana, Abel, Amada, Raveloson|
|Forwards||Andriamatsinoro, Andriatsima, Rakotoharimalala, Voavy, Nomenjanahary, Gros|
Key man Marco Ilaimaharitra will return after a ban and should go straight into the starting XI.
Jeremy Morel, who has struggled with injury since before the beginning of the competition, got his first minutes against DR Congo and the former Lyon man could start if called upon.
Possible Madagascar starting XI: Adrien; Metanire, Razakanantenaina, Fontaine, Mombris; Ilaimaharitra, Abel, Amada; Nomenjanhary, Andriatsima, Andriamatsinoro
|Goalkeepers||Ben Mustapha, Hassen, Ben Cherifa|
|Defenders||Bronn, Meriah, Haddadi, Bedoui, Aouadhi, Drager, Hnid|
|Midfielders||Kechrida, Msakni, Badri, Sassi, Lamti, Skhiri, Srarfi, Ben Mohamed, Chaalali, Sliti|
|Forwards||Chaouat, Khazri, Khenissi|
Wahbi Khazri is back in training after a thigh problem and should be available to start if required. It was surprising he was given nearly an hour off the bench against Ghana.
Left-back Aymen Ben Mohamed is fully fit after a muscular problem that kept him out of the early games of the competition.
Possible Tunisia starting XI: Hassen; Kechrida, Bronn, Meriah, Haddadi; Chalali, Skhiri, Sassi; Khazri, Khenissi, Msakni
Betting & Match Odds
Tunisia are 3/4 favourites with Bet365. Madagascar are 17/4 outsiders, while the draw is on offer at 23/10.
Click here to see all of bet365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more .
Tunisia and Madagascar go head-to-head for a place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals on Thursday, though against all logic it is the latter who has practised the better football in this tournament.
With four matches played, Tunisia are yet to score a single victory, and though both nations progressed through to the last eight thanks to success from the penalty spot, it was the islanders who were undoubtedly the more impressive.
Indeed, Tunisia rode their luck against Ghana, despite being drawn to extra-time with the concession of a last-minute goal. They were broadly outplayed over the course of the game, but head coach Alain Giresse was at pains to state what was most vital for his side.
“Qualification was the most important thing,” the former France midfielder stressed while admitting that goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha had been a lifesaver for his contribution in the penalty shootout, which he was introduced from the bench especially for.
Tunisia have been experts at getting the job done, though not necessarily in the most pleasing or efficient manner.
If more was expected of the 2011 AFCON champions, it is surprising to see tournament debutants Madagascar still alive – and even more of a shock to see them positively thriving in this environment.
“The players are very attentive, I’m so lucky,” head coach Nicolas Dupuis said when asked about the impact he has had on the team by France Football.
“During the game, I give them carte blanche. They have the duty to produce their best and they know how to do it. Possession must be our hallmark.
“Defensively we can, unlike many African teams, put together a coherent bloc. That’s what’s made the difference… they have great tactical discipline.”
Starved of success on the football field, Madagascar has gone mad for its national team.
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“We didn’t really realise it,” the coach admitted. “There is talk of 25 million people who are moving to the rhythm of the AFCON and our performance, it’s fantastic.”
Anicet Abel confirmed the togetherness of the squad after the win over DR Congo: “We’re a team that plays like a family. We fight together and win together. I’m happy to have written some history for our country.”
For a side whose aim was simply to qualify and then not be humiliated, this has been a fairy tale run. And they hope there is a chapter or two left in the story yet.