Nigeria vs France

Nigeria vs France Preview: Could France Tank, And Should They?

The World Cup has once again thrown up a curious mix of incentives, and France find themselves in an odd spot. With six points from the first two games, getting out of the group is secure, and anything less than a 4-0 defeat here will at least see the side finish second.

Winning the group would see Les Bleues face a third place finisher in the round of 16, but a potentially brutal quarter final against the United States could await. Would it be better for France to lose this game and get an easier run of games? How you feel about this might say more about you than the World Cup.

Many will argue that momentum is what matters, and building confidence with another win will help propel this side to a World Cup win. On the other hand, the risk of going out to the US in the quarter finals would be an embarrassing end for a France side tipped by many to win this home tournament. It seems unlikely that the French would just completely throw this game. It would not be a surprise, though, to see a few players rested for the knockout stage. Read More

England vs Scotland

England vs Scotland Preview: Facing the Auld Enemy

You want at least one spicy fixture in the first week of any World Cup, and England vs Scotland looks like it will certainly tick that box. England, seen by most as among the set of sides with a genuine chance of winning the trophy, will want to make a statement against the oldest of rivals, but a slip up here and finishing first in the group will be a hard task with a strong Japan side lurking.

Scotland, meanwhile, have a fighting chance of making it out of the group, and getting a result here will go a long way to making their first Women’s World Cup appearance a successful one.

If you haven’t watched England since the last World Cup four years ago, the biggest change is the style of football. Whereas Mark Sampson’s 2015 side were built on defensive resilience, Phil Neville’s outfit likes to play an expansive, entertaining game. The shape is likely to be a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 system, with an emphasis on pushing the full backs high up the pitch to generate crosses. Read More