Ahead of the round of 16 clash between Nigeria and England at the ongoing Women’s World Cup, former Arsenal star Rachel Yankey has signalled a warning to the Lionesses, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The 43-year-old warned that the Lionesses should be prepared for a ‘tough’ knockout game with Nigeria, who she said played a different style of football.
The two countries remain unbeaten so far at the women’s football showpiece in Australia and New Zealand.
Six goals from England secured a victory over China in their final group game of the Women’s World Cup as they emerge winners of Group D after winning all their three games.
Meanwhile, Randy Waldrum’s side finished second in Group B with five points behind co-hosts Australia.
The winners of the highly anticipated clash in Brisbane next Monday will book a place in the
Falcons, who were pre-tournament underdogs upset World Cup co-hosts Australia 3-2 on their last visit to Brisbane and Yankey, who had 129 appearances for England, told the English women to expect a tough encounter they face the 11-time African champions on Monday.
“I think the next game will be quite tough to be honest. Nigeria play a very different style of football,” she said in an interview with Metro.
“It’s silly, but before today part of me was thinking, “Oh, it could be easier if [England] come second and play Australia”.
“So I’m glad in this game they’ve got goals and managed to rotate the team so they can rest some players.
“Some players who haven’t played at a World Cup before got on the pitch which was good to see, it was a real positive in many ways – not just goals.”
The last time the two countries met in the tournament was in the group stage 28 years ago with the Lionesses edging the contest 3-2 to progress to the knockout stages at the expense of the Falcons.