French are no certainties to down the Super Eagles.
Retrospective action by FIFA may yet deprive France of Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho in their last 16 tie with Nigeria after an aimed elbow was missed by the referee in their final Group E match with Ecuador last Wednesday in the Maracana.
But otherwise, coach Didier Deschamps will have a full compliment to choose from having rested a few of his players in the Maracana.
Mathieu Debuchy, Patrice Evra, Olivier Giroud, Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Valbuena are all likely to return to the starting line-up as Les Bleus bid for a quarter-final place.
Karim Benzema will be looking to add to the three goals he’s already scored and this is a French squad that shown a surprising unity in comparison to a few of those that have gone before. They certainly don’t seem to be missing Franck Ribery as much as many pundits predicted.
But next up are the Super Eagles and it would be wrong to underestimate the reigning Africa Cup Of Nations champions.
Stephen Keshi’s team were very unlucky to lose to a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina in their final group game having kept cleans sheets in their first two matches.
They posed all sort of questions of Argentina’s defence and Ahmed Musa grabbed himself a couple of goals.
Unfortunately, they are likely to be without Michel Babatunde against France as he appeared to suffer a serious arm injury when struck by a shot from one of his own players.
Michael Uchebo, the Nigerian version of Peter Crouch, is his likely replacement and will cause problems if his team-mates can get around the back of the French full-backs.
We have France as strong favourites for this one at 1/2 but they drew a blank against 10-man Ecuador in their last group game and though Nigeria conceded three against Argentina, they are a normally sound defensive unit who will approach this game with a less cavalier attitude.
This could be a bit closer than the betting suggests and the Super Eagles at 8/15 getting a two-goal start on the European handicap looks a bit of value.
The match kicks off at 5pm UK time on Monday June 30th at the Estadio Nacional, Brasilia.