Women's World Cup Round of 16: Super Falcons face two-time champion Germany

Two-time champion Germany enters its tie against the Super Falcons as the favourite. The winner of this tie will meet the winner of the game between Sweden and Canada in the quarters on 29 June.

Germany v Nigeria

Germany takes on Nigeria in a Round of 16 clash in the FIFA Women's World Cup in Grenoble on Saturday.   -  Getty Images

After 14 days and 36 group stage games, 24 teams have now been filtered down to the top 16, who will now fight it out for eight places in the quarterfinals in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019.

The highly anticipated knockouts will begin with Germany taking on Nigeria in Grenoble and Norway clashing with Australia in Nice late Saturday night.

READ : Women's World Cup 2019: Round of 16 schedule

Two-time champion Germany enters its tie against the Super Falcons as the favourite, winning all three of its group stage games and keeping clean sheets through them all.

Germany has sometimes seemed weak in the final third but the fact that it has managed to fend off all attempts at breaching its goalpost will come as shot in the arm to the European side.

A good defense is not going to be enough, in the event of the team advance and face aggressive attacking opponents like the USA

Die Nationalelf will heave a sigh of relief at the possibility of star midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan's possible return to the touchline, even if among the substitutes. The Lyon player broke her toe in the team's opening tie against China and was out of its last two group games.



This game will also see Alexandra Popp reach a special milestone.  The German will become the 26th woman to play 100 games for her home country. The skipper has 47 goals from 99 international appearances.

Germany will rely on the tactical brilliance and fearless of the young guns in the team - like Gulia Gwinn and Klara Bühl. Sara Dabritz has had a good tournament so far and will look to carry that momentum into this game.

Nigeria, on the other hand, barely scraped through to the knockouts, having had to wait until the last group stage game between Chile and Thailand to know if it was progressing.

As with the other teams from the African continent, Nigeria's undisputed edge will lie in its pace. The Super Falcons have shown that they are capable of brilliance in defense but have not managed to create scoring opportunities as well.

The last victory Nigeria managed over a European side at the finals was back in 1999, against Denmark. Up against the former champion who is yet to concede a goal or a point in this tournament, Nigeria finds itself with its back against the wall in this tie.

Nigeria can hope to rely on its strengths in defense and then guide the match into a penalty shootout.

Asisat Oshoala is the only one from the team who has managed to find the net and will hope for an encore on Saturday.

More importantly though, Nigeria will need its 18-year-old goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie to hold her nerve at the goal. The Germans will look to go all out and if she takes this game the way she handled Nigeria's tie against France, Nigeria will be a strong opponent to get past.

The winner of this tie will meet the winner of the game between Sweden and Canada in the quarters on 29 June.

ROAD TO THE KNOCKOUTS

Germany

A stubborn Chinese attack allowed Germany one solitary goal in its opening tie of the showpiece event in Rennes. Giulia Gwinn finally managed a strike from 20 yards in the 66th minute to put the Germans ahead. Match report

The victory run continued when the Germans faced off against Spain in Valenciennes in its second group tie. A lazy defense and a spirited goal shortly before half-time from midfielder Sara Dabritz swung the game in Germany's favour. Match report

Germany finished the group stages with a 4-0 victory over a battered South African side in Montpellier. Melanie Leupolz, Sara Dabritz and Alexandra Popp got the score line ticking in the first half, with a fourth goal from Lina Magull showing South Africa the door, both in the match and the tournament. Match report

Nigeria

Nigeria began its campaign in the tournament with a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Norway in Reims. Osinachi Ohale's own goal was a particular low point for the Super Falcons in this game. Match report

The girls bounced back though, pulling off a 2-0 victory over Korea in their next fixture in Grenoble. An own goal by Kim Do-yeon and a strike from Oshoala saw the girls through to their first (and last) win of the tournament. Match report

Nigeria's last game in the group stage was marred by a VAR controversy. Wendie Renard dispatched a retaken penalty for her third goal of the Women's World Cup, but a neat defense from Nigeria ensured that France didn't manage any more damage than it did. Match report