France v Nigeria - Match Preview: Chelsea attacker set to return

Chelsea attacker Victor Moses is likely to be available for Nigeria for their World Cup last-16 clash against France in Brasilia.

To be played on Monday 30th June 2014 at 17:00. Venue: Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, Brasilia.

Odds: France 4/9, Draw 3/1, Nigeria 6/1

Preview & injury news

Victor Moses will be desperate to shake off a muscular problem to start for Nigeria in their last-16 clash with France. The Chelsea attacker has only made one appearance in the tournament so far, and thus will need to prove his fitness before to coach Stephen Keshi.

With Michael Babatunde missing due to an arm injury sustained in their 3-2 defeat to Argentina, Moses could be drafted into the starting line-up in the hope that he can make an impact.

If he is to start, then it is unlikely to be up front where Stoke CIty's Peter Odemwingie, Emmanuel Emenike and Ahmed Musa, fresh form his two goals in that defeat to Argentina, are all likely to lead the line for the Super Eagles once again.

For France, head coach Didier Deschamps used their last group match against Ecuador to rest a number of their key players. Their only injury concern is in defence where Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho and Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny are both likely to be missing due to an elbow and achilles injury respectively.

This means that Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala is likely to start alongside Raphael Varane in the heart of the France defence. Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko is likely to be dropped to the bench with Paul Pogba expected to start in midfield. 

Key stats

1) Nigeria have scored a goal in all but one of their previous 10 World Cup finals matches against European sides.

2) France have won all three of their previous second-round ties at the World Cup (2-0 v Italy in 1986, 1-0 v Paraguay in 1998 and 3-1 v Spain in 2006).

3) Nigeria have only won one of their last 11 World Cup matches.

Five players to watch

Karim Benzema - The Real Madrid striker has been in good form for club and country of late, and has already scored three goals and has provided as many assists. France will be hoping that their in-form striker can continue with his rich vein of form.

Ahmed Musa - Musa's pace and dribbling skills were on show in Nigeria's 3-2 defeat to Argentina that meant they qualified in second place of their group. Scoring two goals, Musa was someone the Argentine defence couldn't stop, and the Super Eagles will be hoping for more of the same.

Raphael Varane - The Real Madrid defender has the reputation of being one of the best young defenders in the world. His performances so far in this tournament prove why, and with Sakho and Koscielny both likely to be missing, Varane will need another good performance against Nigeria.

Kenneth Omeruo - The young Chelsea defender has started all three of Nigeria's matches at the World Cup so far. Playing centre-back, Omeruo is likely to be marking the in-form Benzema, and thus will need to be at his best if France are going to struggle in front of goal.

Antoine Griezmann - Antoine Griezman's performances so far in the tournament have proven why he has such a good reputation. The attacking midfielder's creativity and passing can trouble any defence, so be sure to look out for him in this clash.

Last time they met

France 0-1 Nigeria (Akpala 32) St.Etienne, France. 2nd June 2009.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch