From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Nigeria’s former international, Garba Lawal has opined that the absence of Lionel Messi in the international friendly between Nigeria and the Argentine national team in Russia on Tuesday will give the Super Eagles psychological advantage.
Lawal, who expressed the confidence in a telephone chat with Daily Sunsports at the weekend warned the Gernot Rohr-tutored side to be wary of other Argentine stars that would be on parade during the friendly encounter.
“First, we cannot take away the fact that it is a good test match for the Super Eagles. It is better we play a quality match like this, regardless of the result than to play and win a weak team, deceiving ourselves that we have a good team.
“One thing obvious is that it will provide the opportunity for the coach to know the competent of some of the players. What is obvious is that it is going to be a very good match,”
On the possibility of Argentina humiliating Nigeria, he said: “It will be very difficult to say, but I know that Argentina is a good side. It will depend largely on those our coach will parade. I believe the Eagles can match them strength for strength.
“Without disrespecting the Argentines, we have a good team that can withstand them. I am looking forward towards seeing how our boys can challenge them and live up to expectation,” he said.
While reacting to Messi’s absence, the former utility player said: “There is no doubt that he will always be a big factor as a big player. Certainly, his absence will give the Eagles psychological advantage, but the Eagles should also be wary of other Argentine players that will be on parade.”