The Three Lionesses of England striker, Lauren James has acknowledged that the Super Falcons of Nigeria will be a difficult opponent for the European champions.
At 8:30 a.m. on Monday, England who defeated China 6-1 in their last group game will face Nigeria in the round of 16 of the ongoing 2023 Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
In the group stage of the competition, coach Randy Waldrum’s team finished second in Group B with five points, a point behind co-hosts Australia, while England won all three of their games to finish top in Group D.
This means that both the Super Falcons and the Lionesses are yet to record a defeat so far in the tournament.
Unfortunately, one of the teams must knock out the other on Monday.
The winner of the eagerly anticipated encounter in Brisbane, Australia, will advance to the quarterfinals stage.
Nigeria hopes to perform better this time after losing to Germany 3-0 in the same stage of the Women’s World Cup in France four years ago.
On the other hand, England finished in fourth place after losing to Sweden in the third-place game in the last edition.
The Nigerian side will be looking to improve on their best World Cup performance from 1999 when they were defeated in the quarterfinals.
While England are hoping to win the competition for the first time after making it to the quarterfinals three times and the semi-finals twice.
In their most recent tournament encounter, the Lionesses defeated the Falcons 3-2 in the group stage 28 years ago to reach the knockout rounds.
Despite having an edge over the Super Falcons in terms of head-to-head and current form, Lauren James who currently plays for Chelsea Women’s team noted that the Nigerian side won’t be an easy team to beat.
“Nigeria is going to be very tough, to be fair every team has been tough, even watching the other games,” Lauren James said.
“Teams are catching up with each other and I know that will be another very difficult game.”