Before today, there was only one recorded clash between Nigeria and France at senior level.
Nigeria has never made it beyond the Second Round of the FIFA World Cup, but a golden opportunity is here for the Africa Champions who will be up against the French national team in a winner takes all clash in the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia.
The Eagles are to say the least well-motivated for the Round of 16 battle against the 1998 World Champions as cash gifts and promises have been made to the players and their handlers to secure a win over the French who rightly have admitted that Nigeria will be a tough opponent.
Before today, there was only one recorded clash between Nigeria and France at senior level, and that was an international friendly in Paris on June 2, 2009, which the Super Eagles won by a lone goal, scored by Joseph Akpala.
A similar score line will indeed be welcomed by Coach Stephen Keshi who already stated that he knows what to expect from the Les Blues.
“”Having played in Strasbourg, I know the French team. They are a very good side, with a lot of experienced players. I have a lot of respect for Didier Deschamps, their coach. That however does not mean that my players will not go out there on the field and do their job” Keshi said in his pre-match press conference in Brazilia.
Aside the heated contest expected in the Nigeria and France game, the two teams hope to join the likes of Brazil and Netherlands in the quarter finals and are fully aware they will be playing under the scorching sun in Brazil as kickoff is fixed for 1 p.m. local time, 5 p.m. in Nigeria.
The Big Boss said he does not feel disadvantaged since it’s the same playing conditions for both teams. Like the Netherlands-Mexico game, the Super Eagles and their French counterparts may also be allowed to observe cooling breaks as they battle for a place in the final eight.
On selection, Chelsea winger, Victor Moses, is expected to be welcomed to the starting line-up of Nigeria. He was omitted from the last two outings owing to a knock which he has now fully recovered from.