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Nigeria vs England Preview: Can The Super Falcons Prevail?

Well, I think Waldrum will stick with his 4-2-3-1 formation for this tie. England used 3-5-2 against China which allowed their players to shine as they blitz the opposition to submission.

If England come out gung ho against Nigeria, they might be made to pay for this with the speed and counter attacking proficiency of Oshoala, Payne, Kanu and Ajibade. If these players combine well on the day, they could harm England.

Our Defensive Midfielders - Ajibade and Ucheibe - will have to continue working overtime to bail out our defence in keeping England's world class strikers at bay.

The difference between Nigeria and England is in the quality of our routines.

England have highly developed,cutting edge attacking routines which are executed to a high degree of proficiency by players on top of their game.

As for Nigeria, the ideas are there but when it comes to execution, the Super Falcons are a bit rough around the edges. Heavy touches, mistimed runs, misplaced passes, poor finishing, questionable techniques and miscommunication have blighted our attacking efforts.

But, if Randy Waldrum can address these shortcomings beforehand, then England will be up against their biggest challenge yet in this tournament.

Google has already given England a 74% win probability with Nigeria having just 8% with an 18% probability of the game going extra time. So the odds are definitely stacked against Waldrum’s Babes.

This for me will be a battle between Lauren James and Asisat Oshoala. James is pure class in how she finds space, taking aim and o hitting the bulls eye with ruthless efficiency. Oshoala is a bully, the proverbial brute.

Her aim is a bit off but her ability to ruffle defensive feathers remain and her name still instils fear even as she struggles to find her range.

But, focusing on these two snipers doesn't do justice to the other henchwomen on both sides. Demehin and Ohale will definitely have their work cut out against the deadly Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo whilst Rasheedat Ajibade and Uchenna Kanu will be out to establish their reputations as big game strikers.

Toni Payne, on her own part, will seek to prove that, what Lauren James can do in midfield, she (Payne) can do better.

This will be one of those games where psychology will play a big role. If Nigeria allow England to take up residence in their (Nigeria) head at any point in the encounter, Google's prediction will easily come to past.

And Mary Earps will summon all her goalkeeping credentials to ensure the Lionesses overcome their feathered foes. Her counterpart Nnadozie is also seen as a World Class goalkeeper, but for me Nnadozie has looked a bit distracted in our last 2 games.

Of the two, I think Nnadozie has a far greater challenge in trying to keep Hemp, Russo and James at bay. Not to take anything away from Oshoala, Ajibade and Kanu but our Nigerian sisters are arguably not as clinical as the English sharpshooters.

It promises to be a clash of styles. Fluid inventive football with a cutting edge vs a conservative and disciplined approach capable of springing a suprise.

I never wanted this fixture but to be the best you have to beat the best. And that is exactly what Waldrum and his ladies will have to accomplish on Monday.

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