France vs. Nigeria

  • noon pm ET, Monday, June 30
  • CBC TV, streaming online at cbc.ca/fifaworldcup)

What’s at stake

  • The winner here will play the winner of Germany-Algeria on Friday July 4, in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Nigeria beat France 1-0 in their only previous head-to-head.

Impact players

France: Karim Benzema. We’ve picked him before because he keeps scoring. After a fairly quiet game against Ecuador, he’s ready to explode again.

Nigeria: Ahmed Musa. He scored two against Nigeria, and his attacking style helped put The Super Eagles into the knockout round.

What to watch for

  • France loves to attack and has a solid midfield to help control the play in their favour.
  • Nigeria’s counterattack is quick. This could work in their favour if the French get caught too far up the pitch on a quick transition.
  • In the group stage, France scored eight goals, allowing in just two. Nigeria scored only three goals, but only let in three.

They said it

“Nigeria are a strong, fast team who have great qualities and it is going to be a really difficult match and we will have to fight.” — Didier Deschamps, manager for France, speaking to media after his team drew their final group-stage match 0-0 against Ecuador.

“Messi? They should have given man of the match to Musa.” — Vincent Enyeama, Nigerian goalkeeper, thought his teammate played a better game that Messi, despite the Argentina’s 3-2 win.

The big number

1,062 — The number of minutes Enyeama went last season, while playing for Lille, during which did not let in a single goal. That’s almost 18 hours of football.

Obligatory fun fact

Musa is the first Nigerian to score more than once in a FIFA World Cup match after scoring twice against Argentina.