England will face their toughest challenge yet in the Women’s World Cup as they take on Nigeria in the last-16 in Brisbane. The tournament has already seen several surprises, with top teams like the United States, Germany, Canada, and Brazil exiting the competition. This means that the tournament is wide open, and England is among the teams that are looking like contenders in Australia and New Zealand.
In their last match against China, the Lionesses produced a brilliant performance, winning 6-1. This has boosted their confidence going into the game against Nigeria. England could also benefit from the return of Keira Walsh, who has recovered from her injury. Walsh’s return could further strengthen England’s midfield, especially after a key formation change against China.
Nigeria, on the other hand, have proven to be dangerous opponents. Led by star striker Asisat Oshoala, the Super Falcons stunned Australia and held Canada on their way to qualifying for the knockout stages. They will certainly pose a challenge for the Lionesses.
The match between England and Nigeria will take place on Monday, August 7th, at 8:30am BST. It will be broadcasted on BBC One, with coverage starting from 8am. The match will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
In terms of team news, Keira Walsh is expected to make a stunning return for England. After suffering a knee injury against Denmark, fears were raised about her tournament being over. However, scans revealed that the injury was not as serious as initially suspected. Walsh has since joined her teammates in training and could be available for the match against Nigeria.
If Walsh does return, England manager Sarina Wiegman will have decisions to make regarding the team’s formation and line-up. Wiegman changed formations to a 3-5-2 in the match against China, and if she sticks with it, Lucy Bronze and Rachel Daly could remain as full-backs. The back three could consist of Jess Carter, Millie Bright, and Alex Greenwood, with Mary Earps in goal. Upfront, Alessia Russo and Lauren Hemp, who both scored against China, could keep their places alongside the impressive Lauren James.
Nigeria will be boosted by the fitness of Asisat Oshoala, who has overcome a knock that saw her start matches on the bench earlier in the tournament. Oshoala is a key player for Nigeria, known for her strength, speed, and intelligence in her runs and movements.
Overall, the match between England and Nigeria promises to be an exciting encounter. Both teams have shown their capabilities in the tournament, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top and advances to the quarter-finals.