The second match in a wide-open Group B takes place at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Friday, as one of the pre-tournament favorites take to the field for the first time. Canada will be expected to showcase their credentials when they take on an unfancied Nigeria.
Women’s World Cup 2023 Preview
Canada is one of the most successful teams throughout women’s soccer history, having won the Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo games in 2020. However, they have never previously won the World Cup, with their best showing coming in 2003, as they concluded the event in fourth place. Canada has reached the knockout round in each of the previous two editions, but were eliminated in the round of 16 in 2019.
However, the nation will have questions to answer at the tournament this year, as they have been below their best throughout their matches this calendar year. Their only win in five attempts was secured against Brazil in February, but since then, they have lost against Japan and France. Their final warm-up match saw them held to a 0-0 draw against England.
Nigeria could be a very realistic outside contender to qualify from Group B, but their chances will likely be dependent on their result in this fixture. The nation is the only team from the CAF region to have reached every edition of the World Cup, but they have only reached the knockout stage on one occasion.
Throughout their World Cup history, they have won just four of their 26 matches. But, their recent showings do highlight that progression has been made. Nigeria reached the round of 16 at the 2019 World Cup, and they have won each of their last three international matches, which includes a 3-0 win over New Zealand in April.
Nigeria vs Canada Head to Head
Interestingly, Nigeria is unbeaten in their two previous encounters against Canada at the World Cup. The first meeting ended in a dramatic 3-3 draw, before the African nation secured a famous 1-0 success at the 2011 tournament.
Nigeria vs Canada Prediction
We could see the World Cup coming to life in this fixture on Friday, as the first big shock of the group stages looks a realistic chance. Therefore, we will be siding with a victory for the in-form Nigeria to cause a major upset in Group B.
Make sure to bet on Nigeria vs Canada with 22Bet!