Going into the U20 Women’s World Cup, Nigeria will be hoping to banish the demons of 2016, when they were eliminated in the group stages.
The current crop of Falconets may not be as heavily-fancied as the sets of 2010, 2012 and 2014, but a lot is still expected from them.
The team is blessed with a wealth of talent that includes Rasheedat Ajibade, Kemi Famuditi and Anam Imo. They will be desperate to start positively by beating the German side, having done well in pre-tournament friendly games.
How they qualified
Nigeria went through the qualifying stages without losing a game. They recorded easy victories in matches against Tanzania, Morocco and South Africa.
Germany reached the semi-final of the UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship as group winners, booking their ticket to France 2018 in the process.
During the group stage, coach Maren Meinert’s side beat Scotland 3-0 and Spain 2-0, and were at their most formidable in a 6-0 win over Northern Ireland. Despite this dominance, Germany failed to reach the final, squandering a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to France in the semi-final.
Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels), Okeke Onyinyechukwu (Edo Queens), Rita Akarekor (Sunshine Queens)
Defenders: Famuditi Oluwakemi (Confluence Queens), Ezekiel Blessing (Rivers Angels), Ogbonna Glory (Ibom Angels), Duru Joy (Nasarawa Amazons), Ologbosere Mary (Rivers Angels), Sunday Opeyemi (Sunshine Queens)
Midfielders: Saiki Mary (Rivers Angels), Ucheibe Christy (Nasarawa Amazons), Efih Peace (Edo Queens), Saheed Adebisi (Bayelsa Queens), Amoo Bashirat (Confluence Queens), Odueke Taibat (Edo Queens)
Forwards: Monday Gift (FC Robo Queens), Ajibade Rasheedat (FC Robo Queens, Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo Queens), Igboamalu Grace Chinyere (Nasarawa Amazons), Anam Imo (Nasarawa Amazons), Bello Aishat (Nasarawa Amazons)
Goalkeepers: Vanessa Fischer, Janina Leitzig, Charlotte Voll,
Defenders: Katja Orschmann, Sophia Kleinherne, Tanja Pawollek, Sarai Linder, Janina Hechler, Nina Lange, Sjoeke Nusken
Midfielders: Dina Orschmann, Janina Minge, Giulia Gwinn, Jana Feldkamp, Luca Graf, Klara Buhl, Lena Sophie Oberdorf
Forwards: Stefanie Sanders, Laura Friegang, Kristin Kogel, Annalena Rieke
Head to head stats
Germany have a formidable head to head record against Nigeria, winning the two matches played by both sides.
The game will be a tough one. The Germans are the favourites, owing to the fact that they have high-quality players in their squad but with Nigeria’s scoring streak and strong defence, it may prove difficult for the Germans to have things their way.
Expect a strong attacking game from the German side, but the Nigerians will defend strongly. Consequently, goals may be few and far between.