England legend Fara Williams highlighted two Nigeria stars the Lionesses need to be wary of as she tipped them for Women’s World Cup glory.
Sarina Wiegman’s side cruised through to the knockout stages of the tournament, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, with a 6-1 victory over China on Tuesday (August 1) to make it three wins from three.
That’s set up a round-of-16 clash with Group B runners-up Nigeria, who themselves have drawn 0-0 twice and won once. England are therefore heavy favourites to progress.
But Williams, the Lionesses’ highest-capped play with 172 international appearances, knows there’s work to be done to make that happen come next Monday (August 7).
She said: “Nigeria have had a great start to the tournament, their performance against Australia was a standout for me.
Toni Payne in midfield is a talent and Asisat Oshoala from Barcelona, everybody knows how good she is.
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“Nigeria do sit in like China did, so we need to attack the game the same way we did today, defensively we need to be mindful that they pose more threat than China did today. They’re physically strong, in a similar way to Haiti were in our first match.”
Despite winning the Euros last years, expectations haven’t been all that high for England. Two 1-0 wins against Haiti and Denmark failed to convince.
After watching them demolish China, however, Williams reckons they have enough to reach their first-ever World Cup final and triumph over whoever they face.
“Coming into the tournament, I was worried about our run, but today’s performance has opened my eyes up to what we really have and the strengths of this team,” she continued.
“Sarina Wiegman showed today that she is able to adapt her formations, which we haven’t seen her do in the past, and those tactical changes today were phenomenal. With a manager like Sarina I think we can go all the way.”