Canada begin a tough Women’s World Cup group stage draw with a dangerous match against top-ranked African side Nigeria in Melbourne in the second day of World Cup action.
Drawn into a gauntlet Group B alongside Nigeria, co-hosts Australia, and strong debutants Republic of Ireland, Canada truly have their work cut out for them to reach the knockout stage.
Canada won the gold medal at the latest Summer Olympics in 2021, but have suffered a downward trend since that time, and despite being ranked seventh in the world by FIFA, they must prove they are still amongst the elites in the women’s international game. Nigeria, meanwhile, profile just the opposite — ranked 40th in the world, but on an upward trend as queens of Africa, having built a talent base that boasts talent at top clubs across the globe.
With Canada handed such a difficult group, the first game against Nigeria will go a long way towards setting the tone for what to expect from this CONCACAF side through the rest of the tournament. It’s conceivable that they fail to reach the knockout stage with a few less than stellar performances.
Canada vs Nigeria match facts
- Date: Saturday, July 22
- Kickoff Time: 10:30 p.m. ET (Fri, July 21) / 3:30 a.m. BST / 12:30 p.m. AEST
- Location: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (Melbourne, Australia)
- Official: Lina Lehtovaara (FIN)
- Last meeting: Canada 2-1 Nigeria (International Friendly | Apr. 8, 2019)
Canada vs Nigeria prediction, odds
- Moneyline lean: Draw (+475)
- Handicap lean: Nigeria +1.5 (-110)
- Score prediction: Canada 1-1 Nigeria
Canada are massive favorites in this match, but the odds do a poor job of representing the threat Nigeria poses in this match, and that could provide value.
Indeed, these two teams matched up twice in April, with Nigeria providing stiff competition both times. The first match was scoreless at halftime before Canada won 2-0 with a pair of second-half goals, while Nigeria managed to secure a 2-2 draw in the second game that required an 88th minute equalizer from the CONCACAF nation.
Those matches, mind you, came without the attacking presence of Asisat Oshoala, mind you, as she has played sparingly for the national team over the past two years. They also came with Janine Beckie and Desiree Scott for Canada, two important players missing here due to injury.
to score Y / N
|Over / Under
|-350||+475||+750||-110 / -130||+130 / -185||-125||-110|
|-357||+390||+660||-120 / -130||+132 / -185||-118||-114|
|1/4||17/4||8/1||5/6, 5/6||11/8, 8/15||—||—|
|1.30||4.90||11.25||1.79 / 1.94||2.38 / 1.54||—||—|
|1.29||4.20||9.40||1.82 / 1.88||2.35 / 1.53||1.84||1.86|
Canada vs Nigeria: best bet
- Pick: Nigeria double chance
- Odds: +240 (BetMGM)
Canada are a talented side, and they have the ability to progress deep into this tournament, but until can prove they are not regressing as a collective, it’s hard to back them overall, and it’s even harder to resist the enormous amount of value on Nigeria presented in the odds here.
The Canadians looked quite poor throughout the SheBelieves Cup in February, especially in the ugly 3-0 defeat to Japan which could be a harbinger of things to come this summer. They played well in defeat to France, but even then, they are not amongst the top echelon of title contenders in this tournament.
Nigeria are a very talented team, and even outside of Asisat Oshoala, they are highly capable, with the likes of Michelle Alozie, Rasheedat Ajibade, and Ifeoma Onumonu all playing at a high club level.
Canada vs Nigeria prop bet
- Pick: Julia Grosso to assist a goal
- Odds: +220 (DraftKings)
While Canada have a lot to prove, at the heart of their build up will be young Juventus star Julia Grosso, who is primed for a breakout campaign. Anything Canada accomplish in the Women’s World Cup this summer will be on the back of the 22-year-old playmaker.
Gross is a bona fide creative star, in the same mold as Rose Lavelle playing for CONCACAF rivals United States. She is an elite dribbler, incisive passer, and scoring threat all in one package — in 1776 minutes for club and country over the last calendar year, she is in the 99th percentile of midfielders for pass completion, 96th percentile for progressive carries, 84th percentile for successful take-ons, 86th percentile for shot-creating actions, and 88th percentile for non-penalty xG+xA.
It’s a truly well-rounded skill set Grosso possesses, and she will be vital to Canada’s success not only this summer Down Under, but for the future of the program as well.
Canada vs Nigeria live stream, TV channel
|USA||FOX, Universo||Fubo, Peacock, Universo NOW, Fox Sports GO|
|UK||BBC One||BBC iPlayer, BBC website|
|Canada||TSN1, TSN4, CTV, RDS||Fubo, TSN+, CTV app, RDS app|
|New Zealand||Sky Sport 1 NZ||Sky Sport NOW, Sky Go|
|Hong Kong||Now TV||Viu TV|
Published at Thu, 20 Jul 2023 14:57:30 +0000