We look ahead to this 2023 Women’s World Cup Group B fixture at Lang Park, Brisbane with our Australia vs Nigeria preview and prediction.
Australia vs Nigeria Stats: Quick Hits
- Australia are favourites to make it two wins from two according to the Opta supercomputer, which gives them a 67.3% chance of victory.
- Australia have scored the only goal in Group B so far, which was a penalty in the 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland.
- Nigeria have failed to score in 17 of their 27 FIFA Women’s World Cup games, more often than any other team.
Australia will be hoping to have a better second outing of the FIFA Women’s World Cup than their co-hosts New Zealand, who followed up a 1-0 win in their opening game against Norway with a 1-0 loss to tournament debutants the Philippines.
Australia also secured a 1-0 win in their first game, with Steph Catley’s penalty enough for three points against the Republic of Ireland. Should they beat Nigeria as well, Australia will have won their opening two games at a Women’s World Cup for the first time.
Following the 0-0 draw with Canada in their opening game, Nigeria will be looking to avoid losing consecutive matches at a single Women’s World Cup for the first time. They had just 32.5% possession in Melbourne, with only one team since 2011 managing to avoid defeat in a WWC game having had less of the ball (Argentina had just 28.5% in their 0-0 draw with Japan in 2019).
Nigeria have failed to score in 17 of their 27 Women’s World Cup games, which is more times than any other team. They have only found the net in one of their previous seven WWC matches – a 2-0 win against South Korea in 2019 – despite having 57 shots (12 on target) in that time.
Nevertheless, it does seem unlikely this one will end goalless. Australia have played the most games at the WWC without ever contesting a 0-0 draw (27 games), while Nigeria have also played 27 times and only registered their first goalless draw last time out against Canada.
Australia completed 80.5% of their passes against the Republic of Ireland, just the third time they have recorded a passing accuracy of at least 80% in 14 WWC games since the beginning of the 2011 tournament.
The co-hosts are likely to still be without captain Sam Kerr as she recovers from a calf injury, though Katrina Gorry and Caitlin Foord suggested they can step up after recording five attacking sequence involvements each against the Republic of Ireland.
Australia will have to keep an eye on Nigeria’s Ifeoma Onumonu going the other way, though. She was involved in more shots than any other Nigeria player against Canada (5 – 4 shots, 1 chance created).
Australia vs Nigeria Head-to-Head
These two met in the group stage eight years ago in Canada, with Australia winning 2-0 thanks to a brace from Kyah Simon in what was their only meeting at a World Cup to date. Nigeria were eliminated in the first round after picking up just one point, while Australia were knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual runners-up Japan.
Australia have won their last three WWC matches against African sides, though the 2015 victory over Nigeria was the most recent.
Australia vs Nigeria Prediction
Tony Gustavsson’s side were not all that convincing in their opening win, but they got the job done against a resilient Republic of Ireland, and the Opta supercomputer backs them to do the same against Nigeria.
Australia are given a 67.3% chance of victory and securing their place in the knockout stage with a game to spare, while their opponents are handed just a 12.1% chance of producing an upset.
A 20.6% likelihood of a draw means Nigeria have a 32.7% probability of getting at least a point, which would at least keep them in contention to qualify for the next round.
Australia vs Nigeria Squads
Australia: Lydia Williams, Courtney Nevin, Aivi Luik, Clare Polkinghorne, Cortnee Vine, Clare Wheeler, Steph Catley, Alex Chidiac, Caitlin Foord, Emily van Egmond, Mary Fowler, Teagan Micah, Tameka Yallop, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Hunt, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon, Mackenzie Arnold, Katrina Gorry, Sam Kerr, Ellie Carpenter, Charlotte Grant, Kyra Cooney-Cross.
Nigeria: Tochukwu Oluehi, Ashleigh Plumptre, Osinachi Ohale, Glory Ogbonna, Onome Ebi, Ifeoma Onumonu, Toni Payne, Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie, Christy Ucheibe, Gift Monday, Uchenna Kanu, Deborah Abiodun, Oluwatosin Demehin, Rasheedat Ajibade, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Francisca Ordega, Halimatu Ayinde, Jennifer Echegini, Rofiat Imuran, Esther Okoronkwo, Michelle Alozie, Yewande Balogun.