The Super Eagles cannot afford to sleep with their two eyes closed as they get set to face South Africa and Cameroon in crucial AFCON and World Cup qualifying games, Germany-based defender, Leon Balogun has warned.

Nigeria face South African in June in the AFCON qualifiers but while many fans think it will be easy for the Super Eagles because the Bafana Bafana are without a manager at the moment, Balogun believes it will be difficult. 

“The thing is a coach guides a team, gives them idea on how to play and also presents a team that will play so it doesn't matter whether they have a coach or not, it's the players on the pitch that matters,” he told

“They are the ones who will perform and show their quality on the field. Perhaps before we play them, they would have hired a coach who will still give them idea on how to play us so I think it will be an interesting game.

“I played against South Africa once before; I know they have quality players and it will be a tough game. I expect a hard game against South Africa."

Cameroon emerged champions of Africa in January but Balogun feels it will have no bearing on the game against the Indomitable Lions when they meet in August.

“About Cameroon, it's a crucial game and a home game we must win. At home we have everything under our control, we must use that to our advantage,” he said. 

He added: “We are already dreaming of Russia 2018, but we know we must work harder. We will ensure we win all our matches especially our home games.”

Nigeria currently top their group for the race to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after wins against Algeria and Zambia while Cameroon are yet to win a game following two draws.