Nigeria national team head coach Gernot Rohr has surprised many when he identified Burundi as the biggest menace to Nigeria’s chances of making it to the knockout stage at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The 65-year-old tactician claims that Burundi being the underdogs in their group, will have nothing to lose when the two sides meet.
“Because it’s the first match, it’s the most difficult. Everybody is fresh, the newcomers (Burundi) have nothing to lose and we must be very focused on this game,” Rohr said in an interview uploaded on the Super Eagles official YouTube page.
“Burundi were unbeaten in the qualifiers, and they have very good players also playing in England, in Europe and in South Africa,” he added.
However the three time winners are not afraid of Burundi because Nigeria is a better side compared to Burundi though the East African team will give them hard time.
“We know it will not be easy, but we are Nigeria, we made the World Cup and we are one of the five teams who have World Cup experience at the AFCON.”
“From my 23, there are 15 players who made the World Cup squad, so these players can help us,” he noted.
The veteran German coach also revealed playing systems that will be used by his side in order to surpass their opponents.
“Some of our strikers could play in the midfield or in the 3-5-2 plan on the side, so it’s good to have the opportunity to change our offensive methods.”
“We have a lot of strikers which means we want to score more goals and play offensive football, we also have good defenders.”
“We have quickness and ability to change in the offensive department. We can also give them the chance to rest,” he noted.
The Super Eagles and Burundi are pooled in group B along with Guinea, and Madagascar.
They will face Burundi in their opening game on Saturday, June 22nd in Alexandria before they face Guinea and Madagascar on June 26 and 30 respectively.