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Stephen Keshi: "It will be a very difficult game"


Coach Stephen Keshi was full of respect for France today at the pre-match press conference ahead of their Brazil 2014 second round match,

"The France players all play at big clubs across the world and [Didier] Deschamps has plenty of options. They have started the tournament really well. It will be a very difficult game. 

"The players are all aware of what happened early on against Argentina in the gruop stages. We came out differently after the break. I hope we can take this experience with us toward the match against France.

"It has been a very open tournament. You can never predict what will happen. Look at the Netherlands game [against Mexico] and what happened. Even Brazil are not guaranteed anything. It’s been a wonderful tournament."

Keshi has so far been reluctant to use star attacker Victor Moses, leading to suggestions that the duo have fallen out, but the Nigeria boss has stressed he doesn't have any problems with the Chelsea man, who was on loan at Liverpool last season.

"There is no problem with Moses. We have a lot of good players and I can play anybody I want.

"All the players who are here are good players."

Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi have insisted that the Super Eagles work for each other and not for individual glory.

"I only care about the team. Nobody wants to be the Maradona of this team," Mikel said at a press conference ahead of Nigeria's round of 16 game against France.

"We don’t want to be talking about individuals. We all want to do our utmost for the team and I will keep giving my all."

Speaking about the bonus row that made the team boycott a training session before they traveled to Brasilia, Mikel said there were never real issues.

"There were no major problems over money, just some little discussions. It’s what happens in football. I play for Chelsea and I know how these things work. They happen everywhere.

"Things were quickly sorted and this will not affect our focus for the game. There were never any massive problems."

France have impressed so far this World Cup with some sublime performances in the group stages and Mikel expects a tight encounter at the Estadio Mane Garrincha.

"It will be a spectacular game and we are very motivated. 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."

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