Women’s World Cup – England vs Nigeria Preview & Betting Tips: Can We Profit From Goals Again?

Lauren JamesThings get serious for England at the FIFA Women’s World Cup as they face Nigeria in the knockout stages on Monday morning (8.30am; TV: Live on BBC1). Can the Lionesses get the better of a decent Nigerian side at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia? This preview, with its betting tips, will work it out.

How did England & Nigeria get here?

The English were never likely to struggle in a group containing the likes of China, Denmark and Haiti. Sarina Wiegman’s women did what was expected of them by winning three out of three, advancing to the knockouts as group winners.

They gave little away in two games against Haiti and Danish, but there were serious question marks over their offensive potency after they underwhelmed in the final third. Such concerns were put to bed last time out as the Lionesses warmed up for knockout football in fine style, scoring six times against the Chinese. Off the back of that thunderous win, England will be brimming with confidence ahead of this game.

England have shortened to 5/2 favourites with the bookmakers to win the World Cup since the reigning champions USA were knocked out by Sweden on penalties on Sunday.

Nigeria were in a group with one of the host nations (Australia) and the Olympic gold medallists (Canada), so they weren’t expected to make it to this knockout round of 16. However, Randy Waldrum’s team have impressed down under, showing that they can tussle with some of the best in the business. First time against the Canadians, the Nigerians defended strongly, showing that they won’t be bullied. They demonstrated pace and power on the break, which was abundantly clear on match-day two, as they notched not one, but three goals on their way to beating Australia. Another sturdy draw against Ireland followed to get them out of the group stages.

England have creativity in abundance

We know that the England women offer plenty of defensive strength. They are well organised and hard to break down, while we have seen over the last year or so, that they are very good at taking the sting out of the game. Such traits are key for tournament success, but what is also important is the ability to create chances and make things happen in the final third.

When it comes to creativity, Sarina Wiegman has lots of players she can call on, which is what gives the Lionesses the edge over most opponents. In Lauren James, England have a serious talent in their midst, a player who can get on the ball and make something happen, whether it be in the form of a long-range effort or a killer pass.

Throw in the likes of Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly and Alessia Russo and the Lionesses really do have an abundance of creative and offensive quality. Each of those five players has the ability to make something happen individually, which is why the English are so good at edging tight games such as their one against Denmark on match-day two. When everything clicks, they’re a real nightmare for opponents collectively, as we saw against China.

Nigeria not easy to beat

This won’t be easy for England. The Nigerians know how to dig their heels in and frustrate, which is why they will arrive at the Brisbane venue of Suncorp Stadium not only unbeaten in three at this tournament, but unbeaten in six overall. Prior to the World Cup, they showcased their ability to hold tight before hurting teams on the break when beating New Zealand by three goals to nil.

Waldrum’s women are likely to appreciate the fact that the English will dominate the ball and look to force the issue. Such tactics will see the Nigerians come under pressure, of course, but they have looked their best when forced to defend before being allowed space to break into. Against the Aussies, they really thrived on the break, so we ought not to be surprised if they carry a threat in that sense.

Goals on the cards in Australia

In the betting with the best of the main UK bookies ahead of this game, the Lionesses are unsurprisingly strong favourites at 1/3. They absolutely have the quality to get the job done, though they may not have it all their own way. At the odds, going for goals seems far from the worst option and it made us money the last time they played.

We saw how deadly this England team can be when on song last time out and now that they have warmed up, they can hurt the Nigerians, who despite winning gave plenty away against the Aussies, conceding two goals and lots of chances. England’s African opponents could very easily enjoy moments of promise in the final third, though. We’ve seen on numerous occasions that they enjoy playing on the break against the better teams, scoring against both New Zealand and Australia in recent times, while they also scored in defeat to the US in 2022.

In each of Nigeria’s last four games against recognised top-level opposition (New Zealand, Australia and the USA twice), three or more goals have been scored, while the Nigerians have scored themselves in three of those four. So for the betting tips for this England vs Nigeria round-of-16, women’s World Cup game preview, we suggest these two:

  • Over 2.5 Goals @ best odds of 19/20 with Bet365.
  • Both Teams to Score (BTTS) @ 6/4, also with Bet365.
  • Note: You could combine the two wagers above into one bet (“over 2.5 goals and BTTS”) at 2/1 with Bet365.