England are playing like Lionesses at last after putting two moderate Group D performance behind them with a 6-1 thrashing of China. Next up are surprise Group B silver medallists Nigeria.
The stakes may be higher now we’ve reached the knockouts but Sarina Wiegman’s women are still just 1/4 to win the tie in normal time, whil the Super Falcons are 11/2 to progress by any means.
With the Lionesses’ heavy favouritism in mind, our England vs Nigeria picks will again be hunting value among the plentiful prop bets on offer at Betzone.
England Women vs Nigeria Women betting tips
Lionesses can get their noses in front before the interval
Nigeria have outrun their pre-tournament odds to qualify for the round of 16 at the expense of Canada, making it chiefly thanks to a shock 3-2 win over an Australia side missing Sam Kerr.
The Super Falcons rode their luck in that victory, with a set piece scramble and a defender-keeper mix-up accounting for two of their three goals – The Matildas won the shot count 28-11.
England will represent a significant step up in class and the way they took China apart suggests the Nigerians won’t be long for this tournament.
The Lionesses may only have won their first two games of this tournament 1-0 but they were leading at the interval in both and were three up at the break against the Chinese.
Barca star’s injury issues can contribute to England handicap comfort
The England clean sheet is priced up at just 8/15 in Brisbane and the Lionesses defensive solidity can form the basis of a solid case for them overcoming a (-2) handicap. So far in Australia and New Zealand they’ve shipped just once – a penalty against China.
Nigeria have been held 0-0 against Canada and Ireland and they lack a consistent threat as star striker Asisat Oshoala continues to manage a pre-tournament injury that she aggravated again against Canada.
With 83 goals in 89 league games for Barcelona and a Champions League winners’ medal to boot, the fact that she’s not fully fit is a big let off for the Lionesses.
But for an extremely profligate performance from Australia, the Super Falcons are unlikely to have reached this stage. A striker of Sam Kerr’s calibre could have had a field day in a match where her countrywoman Caitlin Foord hit the target just once in seven attempts.
England, on the other hand seriously found their attacking groove against China, scoring quality goals. The competition for attacking game time is fierce. It can drive them to another wide-margin win.
James to bolster player of the tournament credentials by bagging again
To say England improved massively against China is to seriously underplay how much the result was down to a virtuoso performance from 21-year-old Lauren James.
The Chelsea forward scored twice and provided three assists in her second successive player of the match performance, only being denied a hat-trick of superb goals by an offside in an earlier phase of play in the lead up to half-time.
Such was the natural ability evident in her finishing last time out that she seems certain to find the net if Nigerian allow her any space whatsoever within 25 yards of the net.