FIFA WWC: Simple Tactic Super Falcons Can Utilise In Dealing With Lauren James & Eliminating England

Failure to beat the Republic of Ireland in their final group match has put Nigeria in a very tough position in their bid to go far in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

 

By finishing second in their group, the Super Falcons will now face the Lionesses of England in the Round of 16. This matchup is going to be a very fantastic because England have been one of the best teams in the tournament so far.

 

Inspired by the 22-year-old Lauren James, the European champions have a 100% record in the tournament. They won all 3 group matches and have barely put a foot wrong so far.

To have any chance of stopping them, Nigeria will have to deal with the sensational Lauren James. The Chelsea Women forward is directly responsible for about 80% of the goals her nation has scored at the finals – scoring 3 goals and providing 3 assists to make 6 out of the 8 goals England have scored.

How Nigeria Can Deal With Her & Eliminate England

Lauren is a winger naturally, but the way she plays, it is extremely hard to stop her. She never stays glued to one position and likes to occupy some of kind of a free role in the attacking area. Her elite technical and dribbling ability makes it almost impossible to press and dispossess her when she’s in her stride.

 

To stop a player like that, it is very important that the opposition team defend as a unit rather than assigning one particular player to man-mark her.

Whichever wing Lauren takes up on Monday, it is very important that Michelle Alozie or Ashleigh Plumptre stay glued to her and never get dragged out of position by the Englishwoman’s fluidity.

The Nigerian wingers should also drop back deep to help in defending whenever England have the ball and are attacking.

 

The fact of the matter is, England will see more of the ball and Nigeria will have to defend really deep and rely on counter attacks. If they do this very well and take the little chances that will come their way, then they can absolutely eliminate England. Their performance has to be similar to the performance in the win against Australia, but even better.

 

As stated earlier, eliminating England involves dealing with Lauren James. But if Nigeria become obsessed with stopping the number 7, then they could get hurt by other players. It must be a collective team effort and no one player should be tasked with man-marking her. It will just be a waste of time and will result in leaving spaces for the other brilliant English players to strike.

The African giants have already surpassed most people’s expectations by making it out of a group that had Canada and the co-host nation, Australia – two teams ranked in the top 10 Women’s teams in the world according to the latest FIFA rankings.

Most people didn’t think they could get this far so it doesn’t matter if most people don’t think they can eliminate the Lionesses of England.

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