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Sweden women vs Nigeria women - Match Preview

07 June 2015, 08:15Soccer Laduma

Lagos - Sweden and Nigeria meet on Monday at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex, and the outcome of the FIFA Women's World Cup match could be crucial for the two sides.

It is a group of death really a group of death when there is a clear favourite to advance. Nigeria and Sweden make up a very deep and difficult Group E.

USA have a best squad in the group, and when these two go on to face them, they're going to have a tough time. That doesn't rule out the threat Australia could pose in the ''Group of Death''.

Super Falcons and Sweden have enough talent to make a lasting impression, and they haven't come into this World Cup thinking that they're incapable of making a deep run.

They can put together solid performances, but it's difficult to see either of them doing it without grabbing all three points from their opener on Monday.

These two sides have history in the Women's World Cup, having met in the 2003 and 2007 editions of the tournament.

Sweden were victorious 3-0 in the 2003 tournament, but Nigeria rallied to earn a 1-1 draw in the 2007 edition of the competition.

A loss to Sweden isn't what the seven-time African champions' die hard supporters are expecting, though this is an excellent Nigeria side, their recent friendly games have given them hope of starting the Mundial on a good footing.

The biggest tactical question heading into the match is whether the coaches have found their best teams.

Sweden’s side can be mercurial at the World Cups but with Pia Sundhage coaching her native country, they will be a force. 

They have veteran experience in 31-year-old forward Lotta Schelin (Olympique Lyon), 35-year-old defender Charlotte Rohlin (who has played who entire career at Linkopings FC but once turned down an offer from Philadelphia Independence in WPS) and 37-year-old defender Teresa Sjogran (FC Rosengard). 

Young forwards Sofia Jakobsson and Kosovare Asllani could have breakout tournaments. 

Also Read: Super Falcons arrive Winnipeg, set for Sweden

21-year-old midfielder Malin Diaz of Eskilstuna United could be a new star on the rise; she has previously played at Tyreso and AIK.

The 2014 African Confederation Champion, Nigeria finished second to Germany in last summer’s U-20 championships in Canada and the nation’s women’s national team program could be hitting a purple patch. 

Nigeria has the talent to easily slip into the quarterfinals or even beyond.

Desire Oparanozie (Guingamp, France) and Asisat Oshoala (Liverpool Ladies, England) scored the goals for Nigeria with a 2-0 win over Cameroon in the African Final. 

The 20-year-old Oshoala finished with four goals in that tournament, one behind teammate Oparanozie. 

Oshoala won the Golden Ball as the African Championship’s best player, to go with her Golden Ball award from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada last summer. She also won the Golden Boot in Canada as the top scorer.

The youngster recently won the maiden edition of the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year, after she was named as the African Women's Footballer of the Year in January.

The form of influential skipper Evelyn Nwabuoku, Ngozi Okobi, Francisca Ordega, Ngozi Ebere, experienced defender Onome Ebi and evergreen forward Perpetua Nkwocha will help the Nigerian side against Sweden.

Edwin Okon has switched to a diamond midfield and was busy trying the new system in the warm up games against Canada and Woodbridge FC. The new formation worked especially the marking from the zones, while Pia Sundhage is expected to do some shuffling in her starting XI.

Sweden (4-3-3): Carola Söberg, Elin Rubensson, Nilla Fischer, Emma Berglund, Charlotte Rohlin, Caroline Seger, Sofia Jakobsson, Lisa Dahlkvist, Therese Sjögran, Lotta Schelin, Kosovare Asllani Nigeria  (4-4-2): Ibubeleye Whyte, Osinachi Ohale, Ebere Ngozi, Josephine Chukwunonye, Onome Ebi, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Halimatu Ayinde, Ngozi Okobi, Francisca Ordega, Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie
Expert Edge: These teams are too even to separate, and ultimately, that will see them knock each other out of this tournament before they really get started. A draw should suit the neutrals.

- News24


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