Preview: France v Nigeria

2014-06-30 11:11
Karim Benzema (AFP)
Cape Town - Nigeria will be aiming to keep up their 100% record against France when the two teams clash in the last-16 of the 2014 World Cup on Monday.

Follow the action LIVE with Sport24's interactive match commentary.

The Super Eagles have only ever faced Les Bleus once before, beating them 1-0 in Saint-Etienne in 2009, and their hopes of progression hinge on keeping a red-hot Karim Benzema quiet at Estadio Nacional de Brasilia.

Benzema has bagged three goals at the tournament in Brazil - and nine in his last nine outings - to threaten the Nigerians' bid to become only the fourth African nation to reach the quarter-final stages.

The French are unbeaten in their three matches, although a 0-0 draw against Ecuador last time out spoiled their perfect record in Group E after wins over Honduras and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Stephen Keshi's side lost 3-2 to Argentina most recently, but still managed to qualify for the knockout phase after going undefeated in their previous two group encounters - a 0-0 draw against Iran followed by 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, their chances have been boosted by injuries in the opposition camp, with doubts over first-choice central defensive pairing Mamadou Sakho and Laurent Koscielny.

Sakho came off with a hamstring injury against Amarillos, while Koscielny is struggling with an Achilles tendon problem, which could see the relatively inexperienced Raphael Varane and Eliaquim Mangala start in the heart of defence.

But Keshi has injury concerns of his own, with midfielder Michael Babatunde having sustained a suspected broken hand after being struck by a shot from team-mate Ogenyi Onazi in the loss to La Albiceleste.

Winger Victor Moses is still rated doubtful with a muscular problem, so Michael Uchebo could get the nod to start against the 1998 World Cup champions.

The match kicks off at 6pm SA time.

More In This Category

Alejandro Sabella, who steered Argentina to the SWC final, has decided to quit as coach, Argentine has media reported.
The Japanese referee whose decisions in the opening match of the SWC triggered a storm of controversy has hit back at critics.
Brazilian superstar Neymar's brain activity while dancing past opponents is less than 10 percent the level of amateur players.
England's dismal SWC campaign in Brazil was doubly disappointing for Britain's pub operators, prompting soccer fans to stay at home.
Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk