Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi is not taking the friendly with Democratic Republic of Congo lightly as he and his teammates gear up for the Russia 2018 World Cup, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The World Cup-bound Nigeria side will face their African rivals in a send-off friendly at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt on Monday evening.
DR Congo, with 28 players landed in Port Harcourt on Thursday night, boasting they were in Nigeria to give the Super Eagles a good match and Mikel is up for a tough duel.
Apart from the missing Everton forward Yannick Bolasie, the Simba squad is a strong one with the likes of Yannick Bangala, Chancel Mbemba, Aaron Tshibola, Paul-Jose Mpoku and Gael Kakuta, as well as Cedric Bakambu, Britt Assombalonga, Benik Afobe, Kabongo Kasongo and Ben Malango.
“We do not expect the Congolese to be easy opposition,” Mikel was quoted in a Nigeria Football Federation press release on Sunday.
“They have a strong team made up of very talented players and we know this is good opposition for us to confront before going to the World Cup.
“The FIFA World Cup is no picnic. We have to arrive in Russia with a winning mentality and you get that feeling of being ready only after beating strong teams.”
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has already revealed that five players will be cut from the provisional list of 30 after Monday’s encounter, leaving him with only two more to drop when announcing the final squad in Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Austria on Monday next week.