France v Nigeria: Les Bleus to prevail with -1 anchor v Eagles
If France were off most punters’ World Cup radar before the tournament, then the beepers are well and truly going off now.
News. Ladbrokes’ Christian Crowther is fully expecting Didier Deschamps’ cohesive and expansive Les Bleus outfit to sweep aside Nigeria in the round of 16.
The squabbling shambles that was the class of 2010 has been consigned to history by a swashbuckling attacking unit in Brazil.
France started 2014 by defeating Holland 2-0 in a friendly and haven’t looked back since.
Already through before playing out a 0-0 against Ecuador with a much-changed line-up (which included 21 shots on goal for the French) Deschamps should revert to the same XI which tore Switzerland apart 5-2.
Having run a disjointed Argentina team fairly close in their final group game, opponents Nigeria will prove no mugs, but up against Les Bleus – who have scored 26 goals and conceded just three in their last eight games – it promises to be a tough test for the Africans.
France might have drawn a blank against Ecuador in their final group game but on another day they could have left with a sack full.
Ecuador’s keeper Alexander Dominguez led a charmed life, though he did make some decent saves from France’s nine shots on target.
Having bagged eight goals in their first two Group E games, Nigeria – who conceded three against a far less fluent Argentina side – could be in for a rough ride.
It would be easy to tip up three-goal man Karim Benzema at 10/11 to score in the 90 minutes, but there’s far more value to be found in backing the Real Madrid hot shot to net the opener at 7/2.
However, in midfielder Matuidi there is far more value lurking. PSG’s box-to-box livewire bagged against Switzerland and also grabbed a brace during France’s last World Cup warm-up game against Jamaica.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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