Eagles Are Underdogs In Battle With Les Bleus

African champions Nigeria are the apparent underdogs in Monday’s FIFA World Cup Round of 16 battle with France in Brasilia.
The Les Bleus, expectedly, finished top of their Group E with seven points, following wins over Honduras and Switzerland and a draw withEcuador, and boast an embarrassment of talent in all departments.
Nigeria, who flew into Brazil’s administrative capital on Friday, bidding a final bye to their team base camp (Vitoria Hotel Concept) in Campinas, as they begin the run of ‘venue hopping’, finished second in Group F with four points after drawing with Iran, pipping Bosnia-Herzegovina and a narrow defeat by Argentina.
There is only one recorded clash between Nigeria and France at senior level, and that was a mere international friendly in Paris on 2 June, 2009, which the Super Eagles won by a lone goal, scored by Joseph Akpala.
On Monday, it is a new day and a different temperament when the Eagles take the pitch against the 1998 world champions at the magnificent Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha.
The 72,000 capacity venue is the second largest at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, coming behind the fabled Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, which can seat 79,000 spectators.
Six of Nigeria’s leading names play in the English Premiership alongside nine of France’s best, making this a potentially –explosive session in all ramifications.
Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo, who will reach the historic 100th–cap mark if featured against the French, features for Norwich City, with Osaze Odemwingie (Stoke City), John Mikel Obi and Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea), Victor Moses (Liverpool) and Shola Ameobi (Newcastle) also involved.


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