Ex-international Garba Lawal predicts a difficult clash with Ghana as Nigeria look to secure their place in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, The PUNCH reports.
The Eagles and the Black Stars are scheduled to face-off later this month as both sides fight for a spot at the World Cup.
Both countries didnâ€™t perform to expectations at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and will be hoping to make up for that with a World Cup ticket.
Nigeria had an impressive start at the 33rd edition of the AFCON where they picked up maximum nine points in the group stage but shockingly crashed out of the tournament in the Round of 16, following a 1-0 defeat to Tunisia on January 23.
Meanwhile, the Black Stars had an underwhelming outing at the football showpiece in Cameroon, winning none of their Group F matches and surprisingly losing 3-2 to minnows Comoros in their last group game.
The overall winners between the two West African archrivals will join four other African sides at the biggest football showpiece in the world.
Speaking with The PUNCH, Lawal, who grabbed the winner when the Eagles beat the Black Stars in an AFCON quarter-final clash 20 years ago in Mali, said the Ghanaians would provide a stern test for the Eagles, when both sides clash.
â€œEven when I was a player, it was always difficult when we played Ghana, itâ€™s like the biggest derby in Africa,â€ the retired midfielder said.
â€œWorld Cup is played every four years, every player wants to be a part of that because it is the biggest tournament and this is why you see players give their best to ensure they qualify for the tournament.
â€œThis is why this game against Ghana is going to be a very tough one because they both have a point to prove. And we know how things are whenever we face each other, this game is not going to be different irrespective of each teamâ€™s form.â€