Former Nigeria international Garba Lawal has urged the Super Eagles to be ready to play any team ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations draw billed for Friday in Cairo, Egypt.
The three-time African champions have been placed in Pot 2 along with Morocco, Algeria, Guinea, Mali, DR Congo following their failure to qualify for the last two editions of the tournament.
Seven-time champions Egypt are in Pot 1 alongside reigning champions Cameroon as well as Ghana, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia.
With the west Africans likely to face strong oppositions, the 44-year-old has charged Gernot Rohr’s men to focus on preparing well for the tournament in order to defeat any team.
“We have to be ready to face strong teams either it is Senegal or Egypt,” Lawal told Goal.
“We must not be afraid to play any team, Egypt, for instance, may have Mohamed Salah but we also have Ahmed Musa and other good players in our team.
“The way we prepare that is how they prepare too. If you want to be the best, you have to be prepared to beat strong teams.
“If you are in a weaker group you can still be gone in the group stage. So the most important thing is to prepare well for the tournament with good friendlies.”
The Super Eagles won the 2013 edition of the tournament in South Africa for the third time in their history and Lawal hopes they can repeat the feat this year.
“Although it is too early to judge the level of our preparation, we have started with the qualifiers and the friendlies played,” he continued.
“All our players play week-in-week-out. We just have to believe that we will do well and win the tournament.”
Nigeria qualified for the continental competition as Group E winners with 13 points from six games.