Following a lengthy, yet exciting group stage at the Women’s World Cup in France, the matches will begin for real on Saturday as we begin the knockout round. Up first we’ll feature an interesting showdown between one of the tourney favourites, Germany, as they prepare to take on an upstart Nigerian side.
For Germany, they were absolutely perfect throughout the group stage. They won all three fixtures and didn’t even concede a goal in what many expected to be quite the tough Group B. Even though the Germans have lost one of their star talents in Dzsenifer Marozsan to a broken toe, the team has picked the slack of late and have looked quite formidable in a stellar 4-4-2 formation. They are dominant in the midfield and will be tough for any side to break them down.
Nigeria clawed their way into the knockout stages, finishing third in Group A. It was a tough group, especially with the hosts France and a powerful Norwegian side, but a crucial win vs. South Korea saw the Nigerians through. Nigeria’s best performance was against France, when they deserved a much better fate than a narrow loss. VAR wasn’t all that helpful to them in that clash. This is a quick team that has some attacking flair, but can also defend with the best of them.
This should be a very intriguing game and one in which many think the upset potential is quite high. Nigeria has gotten better with each passing game, and as a result this should make for some stellar soccer. Read on below as we plan to have every knockout game covered for all of your betting needs.
Nigeria vs. Germany Betting Odds:
Over 2.5 (-200)
Under 2.5 (+170)
Germany -2 (-130)
Nigeria +2 (+110)
Nigeria vs. Germany Pick:
Though the trendy pick in this contest might be the much-improved Nigerians, they still aren’t anywhere near the level of a powerful German squad. Germany does too many things far too well to be prone to an upset of this magnitude. They will win the vast majority of balls in the air, and should control the midfield with ease. At the back, they are flawless – and truthfully the Nigerians don’t really have any skilled attackers that can actually trouble the Germans. Germany has yet to allow a goal at France 2019 and I think that carries through the round of 16 as well.
Nigeria will unfortunately be without one of their key defenders in Ngozi Ebere due to yellow card accumulation. On a young squad without much depth, that’s a big loss that Germany’s potent attack should be able to easily and creatively exploit. Germany will methodically control possession, wear down the defenses of the Nigerians, and then pounce when they see fit.
Expect Alexandra Popp to continue her big tournament, and net a goal or two here. The Germans do like to get out and quickly attack, which could expose them to a counter-attacking situation, but again – the Nigerians aren’t threatening. Popp pairs well with both Anja Mittag and Celia Sasic, and that trio up front should really have their way with the Nigeria defensive structure. Expect a comfortable and routine German victory to nil. 3-0 seems fitting for our first round of 16 encounter.