Co-hosts Australia kicked off their World Cup campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Republic Ireland and now take on Nigeria, who held a strong Canada outfit to a 0-0 draw in their curtain raiser, on Thursday 27 July at 11am UK time.

Australia v Nigeria Prediction

  • Australia to win to nil @ EVS
  • Stephanie Catley to score anytime @ 9/2

Team news

Australia will will again be without star forward Sam Kerr. The Chelsea attacker was ruled out of the game against the Irish with a calf problem and coach Tony Gustavsson has confirmed she won’t be fit for the meeting with the Super Falcons.

Gustavsson may therefore opt to stick with the same XI that overcame Ireland, with forwards Caitlin Foord and Mary Fowler potentially the most at risk after lacklustre displays. If Gustavsson does decide a change in attacking personnel is required Kyah Simon is one candidate to come in.

Nigeria have been forced into at least one change as 19-year-old midfielder Deborah Abiodun is suspended after being sent off late on against Canada.

The African nation don’t have a great deal of strength in depth so defender Onyi Echegini could come into a holding role to replace Abiodun, or coach Randy Waldrum could decide to alter his formation.

Australia to win to nil @ EVS

This could be a closer game than the odds suggest, with Australia rated as the 4/11 favourites, and it may well be a low-scoring affair – but home advantage does give Gustavsson’s team a clear edge.

The Matildas have won 10 of their last 11 games and their recent success has been built largely on excellent defensive foundations as seven of those victories have been accompanied by clean sheets – including each of the last four.

The co-hosts should be expected to win but the Super Falcons can keep the game tight and correct score punters may be tempted by the 9/2 on offer for a 2-0 Australia win. Nigeria have shown defensive resolve with three shut-outs in their last four games but the greater quality in the Matildas side should tell over 90 minutes.

Stephanie Catley to score anytime @ 9/2

With Kerr missing, Australia need to look elsewhere for goals and defender Stephanie Catley looks a strong outside option.

The 29-year-old Arsenal star scored from the spot against Ireland in Sydney and should retain penalty duties after that success.

Nigeria did concede a penalty against Canada and committed 16 fouls in total in that clash, so there is every reason to feel the Matildas can win a penalty and if they do, Catley is the clear contender to take it.

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