A place in the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup is at stake on Monday when England take on Nigeria at Lang Park, Brisbane.
Having started the tournament with back-to-back 1-0 wins, England shifted into top gear last time out with a thumping 6-1 victory over China, securing their place in the knockout stage as group winners
Nigeria managed to finish second in Group B, a point behind Australia, but they face a tough task to get the better of the reigning European champions Down Under.
Keira Walsh has returned to team training with England following a knee injury that threatened to end her tournament early and she could be involved at some stage in the last-16 tie.
Deborah Abiodun is available after serving a two-match suspension for the red card in the opening game against Canada, although she is expected to be named among the substitutes.
#PickYourPunt – England to win and Lauren James to score anytime @ 2/1
Questions were asked of England after they only narrowly edged out Haiti 1-0 in their opening match, and the same result against Denmark in the following game did little to silence the doubters.
However, the Lionesses responded to their critics with a thumping 6-1 victory over China, ending the group stage with a perfect three wins from three and only one goal conceded.
Sarina Wiegman’s side appear to be clicking at the right time and they should have too much for a Nigeria outfit that were blanked twice in their three group games.
In fairness to the Super Falcons, the three goals they did score all came in a 3-2 victory over Australia, a surprise result to say the least, but they will need significant improvement to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1999.
England are on an upward trajectory and a big reason for that has been the form of Lauren James, who was on the bench for the opening clash against Haiti before being drafted into the starting XI for the second match.
The 21-year-old grasped that opportunity by scoring a stunning goal to hand her side a 1-0 win over Denmark, before she then added a brace against China after retaining her spot in the 11.
James is firing on all cylinders and backing her to net again in an England win, on offer at 2/1, looks like the route to go down in this one.
Michelle Alozie to be carded @ 4/1
Nigeria have had less possession than their opponents in all three group games and a similar story is expected against England, who should dominate the ball across the 90 minutes.
This is likely to result in a lot of defending for the Super Falcons and this could spell trouble for right-back Michelle Alozie, who has already fallen foul of the referee in this tournament when receiving a yellow in the win over Australia.
England have the likes of Rachel Daly and Lauren Hemp attacking down the left, which increases the chances of Alozie finding her way into the book again.