Monday 10 June 2019, 16:05

Pressure on as leaders meet

  • Top spot up for grabs in Groups A and B

  • Nigeria, Korea Republic out to bounce back from opening-match losses

  • THE LATEST: #NGAKOR, #GERESP and #FRANOR Live Blogs updating now

Four European teams. Four unblemished records. Something has to give when Norway face France and Spain tackle Germany, with top spot on the line in Groups A and B.

The heat is on, meanwhile, for Nigeria and Korea Republic. Heavily beaten in their opening matches, both know that another defeat could be fatal to their hopes of progressing to the Round of 16.

Nigeria-Korea Republic, Group A, Grenoble, 15:00

Team reporter analysis

Ann Odong (NGA) While disappointed with their first outing, Nigeria have quickly turned their focus to Korea Republic. Line-up and formation changes would not be unexpected with a 3-4-3 system under consideration and 18-year-old Chidinma Okeke in line to feature after showing composure beyond her years against Norway. This match is critical for Nigeria and victory is required if they are to have a realistic chance of advancing.

Hounche Chung (KOR) Although they were beaten heavily by France, Korea Republic have been recovering well - both physically and mentally - in time for the crucial encounter with Nigeria. Yoon Dukyeo’s side are likely to take a more attack-minded approach to this must-win affair with the coach expected to bring in a couple of players who impressed after coming off the bench on Friday. Look for the likes of Kang Chaerim and Lee Mina coming into the starting line-up.

Germany-Spain, Group B, Valenciennes, 18:00

Team reporter analysis

Steffen Potter (GER) Wednesday could be a decisive game for both Germany and Spain, even though the pressure might seem to have eased after both won their opening matches. Second place in this group could, after all, mean a potential Round of 16 match against holders USA: a fixture both sides would be keen to avoid. Germany will be without playmaker Dzsenifer Marozsan, who suffered a foot injury in the win over China PR. This is not the only reason that we might see some changes to the German starting XI.

Elisa Revuelta (ESP) Having already secured one historic result against South Africa – their first FIFA Women’s World Cup™ win – Spain will go in search of another milestone: their first-ever victory over Germany. The sides have met four times, twice in friendlies and twice in UEFA Women’s EURO qualifiers, and La Roja have lost two and drawn two. The big positive for Jorge Vilda's side is they already have three points and, with Germany the favourites for this match, the pressure is off to an extent. But if Spain are to spring a surprise, they must improve their shooting accuracy and avoid losing the ball in areas that will lead to Germany counter-attacks.

Lina Magull of Germany is challenged by Mara F. Caldentey Oliver

France-Norway, Group A, Nice, 21:00

Team reporter analysis

Emmanuelle Hingant (FRA) After a brilliant start to their World Cup against Korea Republic, France know they face a tougher test against a Norway side that was impressive in their win over Nigeria. Les Bleues expect a tough fight against the aggressive Norwegians but they are ready to face the physical challenge in a game that is likely to determine who tops this group. Opening match hero Wendie Renard didn't train on Sunday and is a fitness doubt for the match.

Philip O’Connor (NOR) Norway got off to a perfect start with a 3-0 win over Nigeria and, perhaps most importantly, they came through it with all of their players unscathed. Martin Sjogren is expected to select an unchanged team but their tactics will be much more defence-oriented in a bid to contain the powerful attack of the host nation, who fired four goals past Korea Republic in their opener.

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