After a Sunday at the World Cup with no Chelsea involvement, the Monday schedule compensates with both fixtures potentially featuring our players.
Nigeria go head to head with France in the first of the day’s Round of 16 matches and Victor Moses has trained in the lead-up to meeting the Brasilia, having missed their final group game against Argentina due to injury. The forward began the first match, a 0-0 draw with Iran, before being a sub in the vital win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Peter Odemwingie starting instead.
John Mikel Obi and Kenneth Omeruo have played every minute so far with Mikel man of the match in the opener, and Omeruo part of a defence that kept two clean sheets before being breached three times by Lionel Messi and co.
Now faced with Didier Deschamps’ France who scored eight goals in the group stage, Mikel is anticipating an even contest.
‘It will be a spectacular game and we are very motivated,’ he said. ‘The match could be decided by details. It will be a close encounter.
‘I have played against some of the France players before in the Champions League. The coaches have also done their homework on how to approach the game and have given us all the details we need.’
The victors will face the winners of today’s other game between Germany and Algeria in Porto Alegre although Mikel would miss the quarter-final should he be booked against France and Nigeria progress.
Andre Schurrle has made two sub appearances at the World Cup so far but is one of the options available to Germany manager Joachim Low to come in for Lukas Podolski, who began their last group game against the USA but came off at half-time with an injury that keeps the Arsenal player out.
Algeria are in this stage for the first time but do have a rare 100 per cent record against Germany, having played twice, including a group win over West Germany in 1982
The quarter-final between the winners of today’s two games is on Friday.