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Match preview - Australia women Vs Nigeria women

12 June 2015, 10:30

Winnipeg - In a much anticipated match at the Winnipeg Stadium on Friday night, Australia and Nigeria will battle it out in a Group D encounter of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Further loss of points by any of the two sides could prove fatal to their dreams of winning prestige on the world football scene.

Nigeria only managed a draw against Sweden in their opening match, costing them two points and the Australians fell 3-1 to USA.

That puts a big emphasis on Friday's clash with Australia favored to win based on their 10th position in the FIFA Ranking.

But you can't rule out the reigning African Champions when they are at their best element.

Also read: Super Falcons duo eye win against Australia

Australia looked unimaginative, lacked creativity and finishing touch in their opening match against USA.

Should Nigeria overcome their biggest challenge of defending set-pieces and avoid unnecessary mistakes, then they shouldn't have problem grabbing the maximum points.

Experienced central-defender Onome Ebi will have the difficult task of containing the talented veteran Australian forward Lisa De Vanna. The outcome of this battle could prove crucial to the final result.

The difficulty Australia will face is containing the quartet of Okobi Ngozi, Desire Oparanozie, Francisca Ordega and Asisat Oshoala. The weight of containing them will rest on the shoulders of Laura Alleway and Stephanie Catley.

Nigeria will also have to deal with the motivated Emily van Egmond, while the deadly crosses of Ebere Ngozi could be pivotal for the Super Falcons.

Australia: Melissa Barbieri, Servet Uzunlar, Laura Alleway, Stephanie Catley, Caitlin Foord, Katrina Gorry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond, Lisa De Vanna, Michelle Heyman, Samantha Kerr

Nigeria: Precious Dede, Ugo Njoku, Ngozi Ebere, Onome Ebi, Josephine Chukwunonye, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Cecilia Nku, Ngozi Okobi, Francisca Ordega, Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie

Expert Edge: Nigeria have all the arsenal in their armoury to overcome an unimaginative Australia. Their defensive frailty could prove a fatal weakness too. If the talented Nigerian forwards display flashes of inspiration, three points should be in the bag for the African side.

In turn, Australia usually stable back-line could mean the result will depend on the mood that strikes their more attack-minded players.

Super Falcons should win 3-1 at the Winnipeg Stadium.

-Soccer Laduma

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