England vs Nigeria LIVE: Women’s World Cup build-up and team news ahead of last-16 clash

Women’s World Cup LIVE: England vs Nigeria

Technically gifted England forward Lauren James has already become one of the breakout stars of the 2023 Women’s World Cup for her thrilling performance against China.

While at times ‘LJ’ has faced criticism for being inconsistent, on the biggest stage she has hit her best form with two goals and three assists in the final group match as England sailed through to the knockout round.

England manager Sarina Wiegman hailed James for doing “special things” during the 6-1 win over China, while the player herself told the TV cameras after the game that the performance was what “dreams are made of”.

But her rise to the top has been an interesting story.

Lauren James: England’s new superstar taking World Cup by storm

James, 21, is carving her own legacy away from older brother and Chelsea right-back Reece James, who regularly appeared alongside his sister at junior level

Women’s World Cup LIVE: England vs Nigeria

If there is one thing that the Women’s World Cup has shown, it is that being an established side offers little in the way of protection. Germany, Canada and Brazil all have storied pasts and were tipped to go far but faltered at the first hurdle and exited at the group stages. The game has developed, other nations are catching up, and the traditional heavyweights can’t take dominance for granted.

Canada, Olympic champions, were sent packing by Nigeria, who have now booked a last-16 tie with England. They are among a host of teams to have already upset the odds in this tournament, but Lionesses goalkeeper Mary Earps remains insistent that her side play without fear.

“I don’t think we fear anyone in general anyway,” Earps said, speaking after England beat China 6-1 on Tuesday.

“I think our qualities have shone through in however many months and years we’ve been playing together, so I think we’re in a good spot.”

Women’s World Cup LIVE: England vs Nigeria

As the England players have gathered to watch other games in this World Cup, there has been a dawning realisation. This tournament is opening up for them, or at least any elite side that can remain assured. There are one or two, however, expressing a note of caution beyond the potential for complacency. They are telling their teammates it would be entirely in-keeping with this World Cup for there to be a “shock winner”.

If so, why not Nigeria?

England vs Nigeria preview, by Miguel Delaney

Sharpened England face a World Cup test with a different edge

The Lionesses came through a difficult group stage but face a dangerous opponent in Nigeria and Asisat Oshoala in the last-16

Women’s World Cup LIVE: England vs Nigeria

England team news ahead of Nigeria clash:

If Keira Walsh does return, Wiegman will have decisions to make after changing formations and switching to a 3-5-2 in the thrashing of China.

If Wiegman does stick with the 3-5-2, Lucy Bronze and Rachel Daly could stay at full-back, either side of a back three of Jess Carter, Millie Bright and Alex Greenwood, with Mary Earps in goal.

Alessia Russo and Lauren Hemp started as a front two against China and could keep their places ahead both finding the scoresheet in the 6-1 win, while Lauren James is the first name on the teamsheet after her stunning two-goal and three-assist display against China.

If Walsh returns, she will likely take the place of Katie Zelem in midfield, with Georgia Stanway impressing in the number six position in Walsh’s absence.

One thing Wiegman may consider is she has three players, Stanway, Hemp and Greenwood, who are on yellow cards and would miss the quarter-final if they pick up another and England make it there. Yellow cards are not wiped until after the last-16.

Predicted line-up

Earps; Carter, Bright, Greenwood; Bronze, Walsh, Stanway, Daly; James; Russo, Hemp

Women’s World Cup LIVE: England vs Nigeria

Keira Walsh could make a stunning return for England’s last-16 Women’s World Cup clash against Nigeria.

Walsh was carried off on a stretcher late in the first half of the Lionesses’ 28 July victory over Denmark, with fears that the influential midfielder’s tournament could be over, but scans revealed her knee injury was not as serious as first suspected.

The 26-year-old took another step forward in her recovery when she joined her team-mates in training at the Central Coast Stadium on the eve of their last-16 showdown, before England flew to Brisbane ahead of the knockout encounter.

England boss Sarina Wiegman said: “She is doing well. She started her rehab straight after we knew what was going on.

“She has been on the pitch, she has been training today. Now we will wait until [we see] how she recovers from that training session and if she does well then she is available tomorrow.”

England midfielder Keira Walsh returned to training with her 22 team-mates on Sunday morning (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Women’s World Cup LIVE: England vs Nigeria

Here’s all the key info ahead of kick-off in Brisbane:

When is England vs Nigeria?

The match will kick off at 8:30am BST on Monday 7 August.

What TV channel is it on?

England’s first match of the knockout stages against Nigeria will be shown on BBC One, with coverage starting from 8am. The match will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

You can find the full schedule for Women’s World Cup knock-out stages, here:

Women’s World Cup TV schedule: How to watch every match today

The TV schedule for the Women’s World Cup last-16 has been announced by the BBC and ITV

Women’s World Cup LIVE: England vs Nigeria

Good morning – it’s crunch time for the Lionesses at the Women’s World Cup as England face their biggest test yet against Nigeria in the last-16 in Brisbane.

It’s been a tournament of shocks and surprises so far and Sarina Wiegman’s side will be wary of becoming another, after the defending champions United States joined Germany, Canada and Brazil in exiting the competition on Sunday.

But it means the tournament is opening up, with England among those who are looking like contenders in Australia and New Zealand. The Lionesses produced a brilliant performance to thrash China 6-1 last time out, so confidence is high among the camp.

England could be boosted further by the return of Keira Walsh, who has been passed fit after making a remarkable recovery from being stretchered off against Denmark. Wiegman now must decide whether to start the midfielder, after her key formation change against China unlocked England’s best performance of the World Cup so far.

Nigeria are dangerous opposition: led by star striker Asisat Oshoala, the Super Falcons stunned Australia and held Canada on their way to qualifying for the knockout stages.

Follow all the build-up in today’s live blog:

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