Nigeria will square up against France at the 72, 000 capacity, Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, the second biggest stadium in Brazil
Coach, Stephen Keshi says his team has no option than to win against France when they clash in the round of 16 on Monday. Keshi stated before they departed Campinas for Brasilia. He said the team’s mentality is strong and for them, it has always been nothing but a win each time they are out to play a game.
He also said that the approach to every match has always been the same: to win.“Whether we are playing against Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup or playing against Liberia in a friendly match, I always tell the boys that victory is non–negotiable.”
“For us, we will go into Monday’s match aiming to win. But as I also said before the competition, we take it one match at a time. “We don’t even want to think of who might be lurking in the quarter finals if we win; we are not bothered. All we know is that we must win on Monday.”
Nigeria’s impressive performance against Argentina will see the “Super Eagles” upping their game against France. Nigeria’s squad include premiership players Joseph Yobo, Peter Osaze Odemwingie, John Obi Mikel, Kenneth Omeruo, Shola Ameobi and Victor Moses.
In addition, Ahmed Musa, who plies his trade for CSK Moscow will be on show to continue his brilliant performance, this time against France.
Musa was quoted saying by BBC Sport “We need to defend well, take our chances up front and learn from the Argentina game.” “We need to defend well, take our chances up front and learn from the Argentina game,” “In the second round, its winner takes all. I know with hard work and God’s support we shall make history. “But prayers without hard work is nothing, so we need to be at our best against France to make it happen.”
Peter Odemwingie, Emmanuel Emenike and Ahmed Musa will aim to exploit the French defence, particularly on the left flank manned by Patrice Evra, who is considered the weakest link. The Manchester United full back has lost his pace and will find it difficult to keep up with the pace of rivatilised Nigerian strikers.
Nigeria’s strike force includes the powerful Emmanuel Emenike, who will be aided by the midfield duo of Onazi and Mikel.
Nigeria’s defence led by Joseph Yobo, Kenneth Omeruo, Efe Ambrose, and Oshaniwa that prevented Bosnia and Man City’s striker Dzeko from scoring, will also aim to stop France’s top scorer Karim Benzema. Nigeria will be cheered by the news that former Sunshine Stars defender, Oboabona will be fit to face France.
Nigeria has a realistic chance of beating France to get a historic quarter final as the Super Eagles have strong team that also include a world class goal keeper, Vincent Enyeama.
France will likely parade have premiership players like Patrice Evra, Hugo Lloris, Mathieu Debuchy, Loic Remy, Moussa Sissoko, Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna, Olivier Giroud Arsena) and Mamadou Sakh.
France had to overcome a 2-0 deficit to beat Ukraine in their qualifying play-off, Arsenal and France centre half, Laurent Koscielny says “The first objective was to get through the group phase. Now it’s to go as far as possible,” he said. “We are competitors and we are ambitious, but we know that we have opponents against us and that we might lose.
By Kede Aihie