Wilfred Ndidi has warned that Nigeria’s opponents in Group B will not be easy and could have surprises at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ahead of the opener, Ndidi urged his teammates not to underrate their opponents and disclosed their target for the group stage.
“I don’t think it is an easy group. For me, there is no easy team in modern football. No matter the name, the only matter is the 90 minutes of the game,” Ndidi told Goal.
“We can get a shock in this group so we have to stay focus on the game, not on how easy it is, and ignore what people say. We will play tough games against very good teams and our target is to be on the top by the end of group stages.”
The Leicester City midfielder ended the 2018-19 Premier League season as the best tackler, with 123 completed tackles.
During the campaign, he faced the continent’s best stars including Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez whom he has picked as the toughest.
“Salah is a very good player, I played against him three times, he is a great finisher and very fast. Mane is also a very good player,” he continued.
“The toughest one for me is Mahrez because he was in Leicester and we trained every day before he left. He is very difficult, skinny and very technical. You have to slow down to take him out, if you go fast he will finish you in seconds.”
On Super Eagles’ chances of winning fourth AFCON title in Egypt, Ndidi said that the team will take one game after the other.
“With current players, coach and staff, I think we can do something, the important thing is to try and win games as much as we can. We cannot talk about winning the Cup now, we will deal with it game by game and see what will happen, there are many good teams here,” he added.
The Super Eagles are up against two debutants Madagascar and Burundi and experienced Guinea in their group. They will take on Burundi in their opening game at the Alexandria Stadium on June 22 – the first time both countries will meet at the competition.