By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international Garba Lawal has tipped the Super Eagles for victory against Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Saturday's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Also in the same qualifying group as Nigeria and South Africa are Libya and Seychelles who will face each other on Friday at the Stade Chedly-Zouiten in Tunis due to the unrest in Libya.
Lawal who represented Nigeria at four AFCONs (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), however predicted a difficult game for the Eagles.
"I believe when Nigeria is playing any team, the fans expect nothing less than victory, " Lawal told Completesportsnigeria. com.
"Anytime Nigeria face South Africa, it is always massive. The game in Uyo is not going to be easy but nevertheless we want to win the game.
"We missed two Nations Cups and I believe the present crop of players will not want a repeat of that because they want to be at the Nations Cup.
"I believe we will win the game but it is not going to be easy, it is going to be tough," Lawal admitted.
Lawal, who was a member of the Eagles squad to the France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002 World Cups, recollects how the Eagles outwitted South Africa at the AFCON 2000.
"I remember the semifinal we played against South Africa at the Nations Cup in 2000, it was a matter of the kind of squad and also tactical plan we had " he explained.
"I could remember when Jo Bonfrere came into our room, he said he was not going to play me, that he was going to play Tijani Babangida. Babangida was angry that he was going to play at outside left. He was complaining that how can be play outside left. But Bonfrere said no he must play outside left so that with his speed he could finish Mark Fish.
"When the game started, Babangida got the ball in our own half, beat Thabo Mgomeni and Mark Fish and before they knew what was happening, the ball was in the net.
"You could see how tactical we were. So for this game, we must be careful and be tactically disciplined."Unblock the FIFA World Cup with ExpressVPN the #1 Trusted Name in VPN