Nigeria forward Alex Iwobi stated that the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will be a serious battle as 24 countries compete for the ultimate crown.
For the first time since its inception, there will be 24 teams at the Afcon finals including the Super Eagles.
The West Africans are set to return to the continental stage since 2013 and they have been placed in Group B against debutants Burundi, Madagascar and Guinea.
Ahead of their opening fixture against Burundi on June 22, Iwobi disclosed that the tournament will not be an easy ride for any team in Egypt.
“Everyone is saying on paper that we should go through and qualify [from Group B] but we know it is not going to be easy,” Iwobi told NFF media.
“Every team is there to try and do their best, to try and win. It is going to be almost like a war, it is going to be a serious battle and fight, every game will be competitive.
“I’m sure Madagascar and Burundi, even though it is their first, they will come to prove to everyone why they had the chance to get to the Afcon.
“We know it will not be easy because it’s been a while we played at the Africa Cup of Nations but we are going with confidence and our heads held up high.
“And not only that, we are still young and the future is very bright with young talent in the team. There is a lot of hope and a bright future ahead of us.”
Nigeria is one of the most successful countries in the competition having won the tournament in 1980, 1994 and 2013.