France v Nigeria – Nothing but a win will do!

We could well be in store for a high scoring Round of 16 match here as France face Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha. The match will take place on Monday 30th June and both sides will know that nothing but a win will do at this stage of the competition as a quarter final place is at stake. France were unfancied before the 2014 World Cup got underway but they have impressed during the group stage and are now towards the head of the market in the outright betting. As far as Nigeria are concerned, getting to the round of 16 is an achievement in itself. I personally didn’t expect them to make it out of Group F but they managed to finish second behind Argentina and they showed a tremendous amount of fight in their 1-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina, and were also a little unlucky in the 3-2 defeat at the hands of the group winners. While the bookmakers have put France in as the short odds on favourites to progress, the match may not be quite as one sided as the betting suggests.

Under former Captain Didier Deschamps, the French national side have shown tremendous improvement, particularly where their team spirit and discipline is concerned. Although the French won the World Cup in 1998, their record over the last decade at international level has been a lot less impressive and there has been a lot of unrest in the camp under various other coaches. The last World Cup ended in shame for the French as striker Nicolas Anelka was dismissed from the squad following a bust up with then manager Raymond Domenech during one of their group games. Some of the other players in the squad reacted badly to the decision to expel Anelka and the unrest ultimately led to the French crashing out of the tournament before the knockout stage. Laurent Blanc replaced Domenech following the 2010 World Cup but was unable to restore harmony and Didier Deschamps has been at the helm since the summer of 2012. The progression under Deschamps has been gradual, but the French have definitely showed positive signs thus far in Brazil and should come into this game with Nigeria full of confidence after winning Group E.

Nigeria looked very much up against it in a group that featured both Argentina and Bosnia, but Stephen Keshi’s side played three very good games during the initial stage of the tournament and have nothing to lose as they go into the knockout phase. Like the French, Nigeria have tasted limited success in recent years and haven’t got further than the groups stage of the World Cup since 1998. The current coach has shaken things up and brought in a number of fresh faces which seems to have worked wonders if the 2014 World Cup is anything to go by. I can’t realistically see the Nigerians getting past France and into the Quarter Finals, but I do believe that they can give the French a very difficult game. Nigeria can be proud of making it to the knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup and things definitely look positive for the future.

France to progress to the last eight for me, possibly by a 2-1 scoreline.

Betting Special

If you fancy a punt in this game, Coral have a great enhancement for you to sink your teeth into. Benzema To Score Anytime & France To Win in 90mins – 13/8 which will secure you a respectable £16.25 from a £10 bet. Get your bets on at Coral, by clicking here

September 14, 2015: • No Comments

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