France v Nigeria: Key Battles – Former Newcastle star important

Nigeria Fan Celebrates AFCON

Yohan Cabaye's passing is world class, and Nigeria will need to prevent him showing that ability if they are to beat France in Brasilia.

Karim Benzema v Kenneth Omeruo

The Real Madrid striker is in great form for club and country at the moment. He has already scored three and assisted three at the World Cup so far, meaning that he is full of confidence going into this cash with Nigeria. His finishing ability is superb with either foot, and his movement to exploit space is enough to trouble any defender in the World. 

Kenneth Omeruo hasn't featured yet for Chelsea, but the centre-back has performed well for Nigeria so far in the tournament. The Super Eagles have struggled defensively, though, and conceded three goals to Argentina in their last match. France may not have a Lionel Messi in their side, but their attacking players do have real quality and are more than capable of causing the Africans problems. 

Yohan Cabaye v John Obi Mikel

Yohan Cabaye's range of passing is vital in the way France play. Playing in the deep-lying midfielder role, he looks to find space in the French half and finds his forwards anywhere on the pitch. The former Newcastle United star's ability to do that is outstanding, and is so important to the way Les Bleus play.

John Obi Mikel plays in a more attacking role for Nigeria than he does for Chelsea. Playing in the number 10 role, it is his job to create chances with his passing ability. Mikel will also have an important role defensively in closing down Cabaye and ensuring the Paris-Saint Germain midfielder doesn't have the time on the ball.

Raphael Varane v Ahmed Musa

Real Madrid and France have high hopes for Varane's future, but his present has not been bad either. The 21-year-old centre-back's performances so far in Brazil explain why he has a great reputation. Defensive partners Mamadou Sakho and Laurent Koscielny are likely to be missing, and Varane will need to lead the French backline, despite his young age.

Ahmed Musa showed the footballing world what he is capable of in the 3-2 defeat to Argentina. His two brilliant finishes for his goals, as well as his pace and dribbling ability, have seen him linked with a summer move to some of Europe's top clubs. The CSKA Moscow player will look to cause the French defence similar problems.

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