Tunisia assistant coach Jalel Kadri on Friday played down his team’s billing as favourites for their clash against Burkina Faso at the Stade Roumdé Adjia in Garoua on Saturday night.
The Burkinabe finished the pool stages in second behind Cameroon in Group A while Tunisia, drawn with Gambia, Mauritania and Mali in Group F, advanced to the knockout rounds as one of the four best third-placed teams.
Tunisia went into their last-16 clash against Nigeria as distinct also-rans but they produced a disciplined performance to clip the wings of the Super Eagles.
Burkina Faso have been unheralded during their surge to the last eight. And that lack of fanfare could be misleading, says Kadri.
“The Burkina Faso side is a formidable team,” he added. “We must not underestimate their capacity. They have the individuals who can make a difference.
“We really don’t think we have a upper hand and we certainly do not have a superiority complex. There are no more favourites in this tournament. There are only teams who are here to compete.”
If Tunisia get past Burkina Faso they will achieve an unprecedented feat for the national team of reaching the last four in successive Cup of Nations tournaments.
“We are happy to be in the quarter-finals,” said Tunisia striker Wahbi Khazri. “It has been a collective effort and we will play with a positive mindset.”
Burkinabe forward Adama Guira said he and his teammates would be just as upbeat for the clash.
“If we’re in the last eight at the Cup of Nations means that we must be good," he added.
"But we’re still hungry and we’re here to show how far football in Burkina Faso has come in the last few years.
"But we’re going to remain humble and of course try to get into the semi final.
The winners of the tie will play Senegal or Equatoria Guinea who play on Sunday night in Yaoundé.
Tunisia have so many qualities,” said Burkina Faso coach Kamou Malo.
”They hold their shape, attack well and defend well. But I too have a solid group who can cause problems for any team.”