Nigeria Super Eagles will not underestimate Liberia Lone Stars in their first 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group C match at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Friday.
The Super Eagles are in poor form in this clash as they have not won a point in their previous three games after losing to Mexico in their last game, a friendly two months ago.
Nigeria will push for their fourth consecutive World Cup qualifier, after participating in the last three global tournaments in South Africa, Brazil and Russia.
Nigeria’s head coach Gernot Rohr says they cannot afford to underestimate Liberia, whose state president is legendary striker George Weah.
“We cannot underestimate anyone, especially after what happened a few months ago in Benin City [4-4 draw with Sierra Leone]’ said Rohr.
“Liberia has had a good preparation and President George Weah has made sure they have a good team, so it won’t be easy against them.”
Italy-based gunman Victor Osimhen is the danger man for the Super Eagles and the 22-year-old assassin will be happy to inspire his country to a victory over the Lone Stars.
Meanwhile, Liberia succumbed to a 5-1 defeat to Algeria in their last game, a friendly three months ago. It was their fourth loss in their last five games in all competitions.
The Lone Stars have never competed in the World Cup final and they hope to change that by securing their ticket to next year’s tournament in Qatar.
Liberia head coach Peter Butler says he will ensure his side can compete with their group rivals Nigeria, the Central African Republic and Cape Verde.
“Yes, we are in a very difficult group with opponents who have good players and are well founded, but I am not going to complain about that,” said Butler.
“I prefer to work with what we have at our disposal to work with. I will defend myself against one of the coaches in that group that we will be so organized, competitive and with an attacking spirit in our games.”
Slavia Prague midfielder Murphy Dorley is one of the Lone Stars’ most influential players and the 23-year-old’s performance could hold a key to Liberia’s win over the Super Eagles.
The previous match between Nigeria and Liberia was on October 13, 2012.
Nigeria took an emphatic 6-1 win over Liberia in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.