Home News Women’s World Cup 2023: Keira Walsh May Play in England’s Last-16 Clash Against Nigeria

Women’s World Cup 2023: Keira Walsh May Play in England’s Last-16 Clash Against Nigeria

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Keira Walsh's return

Keira Walsh was spotted practicing with her teammates at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday before they departed for Brisbane.

England vs Nigeria
Location: Brisbane Stadium Date: 7 August Time: 08:30 BST
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England’s midfielder Keira Walsh might join her team in the last-16 tie against Nigeria in the Women’s World Cup if her recovery from Sunday’s practice session goes smoothly, according to the team’s manager, Sarina Wiegman.

Walsh, 26, was stretchered off during England’s 1-0 victory over Denmark on July 28th after sustaining a knee injury, which Wiegman confirmed wasn’t related to ligament damage.

The Barcelona-based midfielder participated in Sunday’s training session at Central Coast Stadium before heading to Brisbane.

“Keira is making good progress,” Wiegman mentioned.

“She started her recovery process immediately once we understood the nature of her injury. She was part of the training today and now we are waiting to assess her recovery.

“If everything goes well, she will be ready to play on Monday.”

Find all the latest updates from the Women’s World Cup here

Initial suspicions pointed towards a severe knee injury for Walsh, but subsequent scans dismissed the possibility of anterior cruciate ligament damage.

“Everyone was shocked, naturally,” Wiegman admitted. “However, we learned quickly the next day that the situation was not as dire as initially suspected.”

England, having won all three games at the Women’s World Cup, are now gearing up to face Nigeria in a bid to secure a quarter-finals spot. The match will take place in Brisbane at 08:30 BST on Monday.

During England’s resounding 6-1 triumph over China last Tuesday, Manchester United’s captain Katie Zelem stepped in to replace Walsh and delivered a standout performance alongside regular Georgia Stanway.

“We always want our players to be fit and ready,” Wiegman added. “Keira couldn’t play the last match, and we are aware of the alternatives we have for her position.

“Katie [Zelem] did a great job against China and now with Keira back, it’s great news for the team. While Keira is irreplaceable, other players can step up.”

‘Now we have two tactical options’

England’s defender Alex Greenwood revealed that Walsh seemed “fine” during the past week, despite missing the final group match.

“She remained focused on her recovery, even though we spent a few days apart,” Greenwood shared.

“She always maintained a positive attitude, and we did our best to support her as a team.”

Before the game against China, there was speculation about who might replace Walsh, a crucial part of their Euro 2022 championship-winning team.

Wiegman changed the team formation, opting for a three-player backline and including Zelem in midfield. The decision was largely successful, but Wiegman refrained from giving any hints on how England might line up against Nigeria.

“We now have two tactical options – the one we’ve been using and the one we applied against China. We’ll take that into account. You’ll find out tomorrow what we decide,” Wiegman stated.

Echoing Wiegman, Greenwood said, “In either formation, we’re comfortable. The three-player backline worked well for the match [against China], as shown in the game.

“No matter what formation we choose, we are strong across the board and ready for any scenario. However, I’m afraid I can’t give away our strategy.”

Nigeria’s manager Randy Waldrum acknowledged that his team needed to prepare for both potential formations, which “adds a layer of complexity” to his job.

“I anticipate [Wiegman] might stick with the three-player backline considering its effectiveness, and I can’t see a reason to alter it,” Waldrum stated.

“Nevertheless, we must be ready for both strategies. This makes our task slightly more difficult due to limited time, and I’m confident that England would have thoroughly prepared for both formations.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Keira Walsh’s return

When is the England vs Nigeria match scheduled in the Women’s World Cup 2023?

The match between England and Nigeria in the Women’s World Cup 2023 is scheduled for 7th August at 08:30 BST. It will take place at the Brisbane Stadium.

Who is Keira Walsh and what is her current status?

Keira Walsh is an English midfielder who plays for Barcelona. She sustained a knee injury during a match against Denmark but has now recovered. She could potentially play in the upcoming match against Nigeria if her recovery from the training session goes well, as stated by the team’s manager Sarina Wiegman.

What was initially suspected about Walsh’s knee injury?

Initially, there were fears that Keira Walsh had a severe knee injury, possibly an anterior cruciate ligament damage. However, subsequent scans ruled out this possibility.

Who replaced Keira Walsh in the match against China?

In the match against China, Keira Walsh was replaced by Manchester United’s captain Katie Zelem, who delivered an impressive performance in midfield.

What formation changes might England consider for the match against Nigeria?

The team manager, Sarina Wiegman, suggested two possible formations for the upcoming match against Nigeria. They might continue with the three-player backline used in the game against China, or revert to their usual formation. The final decision will be revealed on the day of the match.

More about Keira Walsh’s return

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GreenWhiteGreen August 6, 2023 - 6:06 pm

As a Nigerian, bit worried about England’s flexibility in formation. We’ll have to be on our toes, hope Randy Waldrum has got his tactics right.

SportGurl98 August 6, 2023 - 6:33 pm

It’s good that Walsh is recovering fast. ligament injuries are the worst, relieved it wasn’t that serious…

TikiTakaLover August 6, 2023 - 11:05 pm

Big respect to Walsh’s dedication. Injured but not defeated, true Barca spirit. Get well soon Keira, can’t wait to see you back on the pitch.

MancBlue August 7, 2023 - 1:10 am

Whoa Katie Zelem stepping up! proving her worth in the absence of Walsh. thats what team spirit’s all about, right?

FootieFan123 August 7, 2023 - 2:05 am

can’t wait for the match! Hope Keira’s back in form. she’s such a game-changer when she’s on the field.

EnglandsRose August 7, 2023 - 6:17 am

formation changes are always tricky, good luck Wiegman. whatever happens, I know our lionesses will give their all!

WomensFootieFanatic August 7, 2023 - 8:53 am

these world cup matches are so intense, injuries are a nightmare… Keira, stay strong, we need you in the quarters! fingers crossed.


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