2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Preview: Nigeria
Source: thenff.com

Nigeria has appeared at the World Cup seven times in their history but have only managed to get out of the group stage and reach the quarter finals once, in 1999. This summer, despite a difficult Group A that also includes hosts FranceNorway and Korea Republic, the 'Super Falcons' want to take the next step in their progression.

Nigeria has a high-octane offense that they will lean on

Asisat Oshoala looks to lead from the front for her country | Source: guardian.ng
Asisat Oshoala looks to lead from the front for her country | Source: guardian.ng

During the last World Cup, Nigeria showed their frontline is not only pacy, but also tactically aware and ruthless in front of goal. Although they did not qualify from the group at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, they showed the world just how dangerous they can be going forward.

In attack, Nigeria are looking to star Asisat OshoalaFrancisca Ordega and Desire Oparanozie to showcase their talents on the world's brightest stage. Oshoala and Ordega had inconsistent seasons recently but on their day, they are effective and exhilarating to watch. Oparanozie has been plying her trade in France over the last five years and has grown with each season. Many expect her and her compatriots to step up again this summer and help push Nigeria into the knock out stages.

The backline is a worry for Nigeria

Nigeria conceded too many goals four years ago | Source:  Kevin C. Cox-Getty Images
Nigeria conceded too many goals four years ago | Source: Kevin C. Cox-Getty Images

Despite such a potent attack, Nigeria's biggest weakness continues to be their defense. Nigeria has conceded far too many goals for a country as talented as they are and cannot afford to be too slack against the likes of France and Norway in a few days' time. Most of Nigeria's defenders play in Sweden and Norway so they should have an idea of how to deal with top quality forwards but it remains to be seen if they can keep some of the best strikers around away from goal for 90 minutes.

Nigeria might not be able to get a result against France but their matches against Norway and Korea Republic could be the key for them. Both teams have weaknesses as well and if Nigeria can exploit those weaknesses while remaining steady at the back, their chances will increase significantly.

Roster

Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Alaba Jonathan.

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale, Ngozi Ebere, Onome Ebi, Faith Michael, Chidinma Okeke.

Midfielders: Amarachi Okoronkwo, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Rita Chikwelu, Chinaza Uchendu, Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene, Rasheedat Ajibade, Halimatu Ayinde, Ogonna Chukwudi.

Forwards: Anam Imo, Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie, Uchenna Kanu, Francisca Ordega, Chinwendu Ihezuo, Alice Ogebe.

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