Republic of Ireland vs Nigeria odds and betting statistics
Republic of Ireland vs Nigeria recommended bets
Republic of Ireland vs Nigeria match preview
Going into the final set of group matches, Nigeria kick off top of Group B, and no one could’ve predicted that.
In their opener, the Super Falcons held Canada to a credible goalless draw in Melbourne, with goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie the hero, saving a Christine Sinclair spot-kick.
Despite this positive start, Randy Waldrum’s team went into their clash co-hosts Australia on Thursday as huge underdogs.
The game came to life in first half stoppage time.
The Matlidas broke the deadlock just as the clock struck 90 before, in the sixth minute of injury time, Uchenna Kanu fired home an equaliser, after Rasheedat Ajibade’s cross had been deflected.
In the 63rd minute, superstar striker Asisat Oshoala was introduced, and this would prove to be a key moment.
A minute later, Nigeria took a shock lead, Osinachi Ohale bravely bundled the ball home, and then, not long after, Oshoala got her goal, pouncing on a defensive mix up, rounding the goalkeeper and cooly slotting home.
Australia were able to pull it back to 3-2 in the tenth minute of injury time, but Nigeria held on for a famous win in Brisbane.
The 11-times WAFCON winners are World Cup ever-presents, but that was just their fifth victory in 28 attempts.
Now, just a draw here would guarantee Nigeria’s place in the knockout stages for only the third time, needing a win to remain in first place, if there’s a winner in the other match taking place simultaneously.
Republic of Ireland meanwhile will be heading home after this one, but are determined not to do so without a point to their name.
The Girls in Green were very unfortunate in defeat against Australia on the tournament’s opening night, with a penalty the difference between to two sides in Sydney.
Then, on Wednesday, Ireland scored their first-ever World Cup goal, doing it in some style.
In the pouring Perth rain, star player Katie McCabe scored directly from a corner, sparking wild celebrations, having bagged an olimpico against the Olympic Gold Medalists.
However, Canada equalised in stoppage time, Megan Connolly with a very unlucky own goal, before winning it shortly after half time, as Ireland just ran out of steam.
Vera Pauw’s side have been generally competitive at this tournament, certainly deserving of more than the zero points they’ve currently got, so make no mistake about it, Ireland are motivated to win this match.
Will Nigeria, against all odds, book their place in the round of 16 at Lang Park, or can the Republic of Ireland claim their very first win at a major tournament?
Republic of Ireland team news
Vera Pauw could name an unchanged line-up, with Áine O’Gorman winning her 120th cap, still 14 short of Emma Byrne’s national record.
Amber Barrett scored the winner against Scotland in the play-off final last October, but is yet to start up front at the tournament itself.
Predicted XI (5-4-1): Brosnan; O’Gorman, Connolly, Quinn, Fahey, McCabe; Farrelly, O’Sullivan, Littlejohn, Sheva; Carusa.
Nigeria teams news
Asisat Oshoala only came on for the final half an hour against Australia, as Randy Waldrum continues to manage her minutes, but the Barcelona superstar is likely to start this time.
Midfielder Deborah Abiodun was sent off against Canada, so was suspended on Thursday, but certainly isn’t guaranteed to come straight back into the team.
40 year old centre-back Onome Ebi came off the bench in stoppage time against the co-hosts, becoming just the fifth women to feature at six different World Cups.
Predicted XI (4-5-1): Nnadozie; Alozie, Ohale, Demehin, Plumptre; Ucheibe, Ayinde, Payne, Onumonu, Kanu; Oshoala.