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Super Eagles Can Halt Les Blues’ Ambition, As Moses Returns Against France


Demola Aluko

Not many people outside of Nigeria give the Super Eagles any chance against a French team full of stars from top European sides, but the world cup may yet witness another big surprise when the two sides meet in Monday’s round of 16.

Led by Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, France strolled through group E, scoring 8 goals in three matches, while conceding only two.

France-vs-Nigeria-World-Cup-2014-Round-Of-16-Football-Wallpaper-800x600-620x330Arrogance is already in the air in Les Blues camp, with former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna and midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin both claiming that not winning the FIFA World Cup would be regarded as a failure after France topped their group.

Their statements show that the African champions are not considered as bottleneck in their quest for the most glamorous soccer trophy in the world.

However, if recent Super Eagles attitudes towards major tournament are factors that determine the general performance of the squad, then the French players have fallen into the trap of the coach Stephen Keshi tutoured boys, and this will present enormous problems for their World Cup ambitions.

A little over a year ago, the Super Eagles were one of the underdogs that were never tipped, even by their own fans in Nigeria, to make any serious impact at last year’s African Cup of Nations in South Africa, but surprisingly, the team started slowly, got better match after match and grew in confidence and believe, and before the whole continent could realise, the trophy was already on its way to Abuja, the Nigerian capital city.

Some might be saying, ‘’ oh this is the world cup’’, but hey! without being unnecessarily critical of the team, one would not be wrong to say Nigeria, one of a record two African nations to reach the knockout stage this year has not done badly at the ongoing tournament.

The team, as it was in South Africa, is looking better after each game, and who says they can not raise their games individually and collectively as displayed against the much dreaded Elephants Of Ivory Coast, last year, when they meet their French counterparts in Brazil today?

This is an opinion supported by France stars Cabaye and Benzema, who unlike Sagna and Schneiderlin admit that the game against Nigeria will not be an easy one.

Benzema tagged it ‘’a true test’’, while Cabaye in his words said: “We have come a long way considering we almost didn’t make it to Brazil, so we should not get ahead of ourselves.”

Meanwhile, reports reaching African Examiner show that Chelsea midfielder Victor Moses will be in the starting lineup on Monday after the former Wigan Athletic player returned to training last week.This certainly is a major boost for the Super Eagles.

Monday’s fixture will be intriguing with France captain Hugo Lloris one of the highest rated at his position in the world at the moment, but Super Eagles’ Vincent Enyeama, 31, has far more international experience with 94 caps to Lloris’s 60, and Enyeama’s nine-save effort against Argentina is on record to be one of the best performances in goal at the tournament, so far.







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