France may just be an outside favourites to win the 2014 World Cup, but their performances in the group stage has been brilliant with some consistent performances by their players. Nigeria remains to be their first big hurdle, as they prepare for the round of 16 clash scheduled later tonight at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.
France topped group E, as expected but Nigeria who was second in their group is expected to make life difficult for the French players. The African nation has impressed many with their display and primarily players such as Ahmed Musa, Peter Odemwinge and Emenike have looked class apart, helping Nigeria reach the knock out stages as well.
Nigeria would go into the game confident of creating an upset after having played an outstanding game against one of the favourites for the competition, Argentina in the group stages. Though, they lost the match, 3-2, but it was the fight and threat they gave to Argentina, which made fans and experts sit up and take notice. If they play a similar game against the French, one could expect a humdinger of a match between the two sides.
France, which comprises of a number of stars such as Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema etc would be indeed favourites to win the game. It is their attack, which looks ominous as their winning scores in the group matches establishes, 5-2 against Switzerland and 3-0 over Hondarus.
Nigeria may not have too many stars, but they have players who can destroy the French team, as mentioned above. More than the players it is the grit, determination and hunger to succeed, which might see them cross the finishing line as well. What makes the case stronger for Nigeria is that they are habituated to the heat, while the European giants are not, like many other teams.