PREVIEW: Ireland v Nigeria – FIFA Women’s World Cup Team News, Predicted Lineups and Where to Watch

Ireland and Nigeria enter this final group game having contrasting experiences so far this World Cup; the Super Falcons are looking to secure their place in knockout stages, while the European side have already been eliminated.

Ireland will be disappointed to enter this game with nothing to play for but pride following their two defeats, especially considering their spirited performances. It is certain that the Irish side will look to secure a victory to sign off their maiden World Cup with a high, and as a platform in which to build from for the future, as their ambition is to qualify for further international competitions.

Vera Pauw would love to secure a victory in Brisbane – a game which may be her final one as manager of the Republic of Ireland. The speculation about her position arises due to the recent scrutiny about her management approach in The Athletic, questions within Irish media about her suitability as for the role and the pause in contract negotiations with the FAI prior to the World Cup.

Nigeria have been impressive thus far in the competition. The African side have been well organised and hard to break down against both Canada and Australia, and the Super Falcons will look to continue this resolute nature against the Irish. They will be confident of obtaining a necessary result as The Girls In Green have looked bereft of ideas when they enter the final third.

The previous performance against Australia was incredibly impressive and has put the Super Falcons in the position to once again qualify for the round-of-sixteen – a feat they achieved in the last World Cup in France. Randy Waldrum’s side will be aware that a clean sheet, be it in a draw or a win, will see them through due to the shoot-out nature of the other fixture in the group between Australia and Canada.

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Team news

Ireland will likely be without Heather Payne following an aggravation to an ankle injury during the warm-up of the Canada defeat. Birmingham City’s Louise Quinn was a doubt going into the Canada match and will be closely monitored again, however she will start if fit.

Despite playing well in both games thus far, Ruesha Littlejohn may start from the bench due to three games being too much for her – with Lily Agg lined up as her replacement.

Nigeria will have Deborah Abiodun amongst their roster for this game, with the player having served her one-game suspension following her late sending off against Canada. The Super Falcons will also monitor Toni Payne following a slight knock during their victory against Australia.

Predicted lineups

Ireland: Brosnan; Fahey, Louise Quinn, Connolly; O’Gorman, O’Sullivan, Agg, McCabe; Sheva, Carusa, Farrelly

Nigeria: Nnadozie; Alozie, Ohale, Demehin, Plumptre; Ucheibe, Abiodun; Ajibade, Payne, Oshoala; Onumonu

Where can I watch?

Kick-off in Brisbane is at 11 a.m. UK time on Monday, 31st July 2023. The coverage will be streamed live on BBC iPlayer. If you can’t access the game on the BBC, fear not; we’ll have a detailed match report published within minutes of the final whistle.