Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr said that his team was ready to take on Argentina's highly rated squad today with or without their talisman Lionel Messi.
Messi was given permission by coach Jorge Sampoli to return to Barcelona, with an aim to test how his team will fare without the five-time World Best Player whose hat-trick against Ecuador earned Argentina the Russia 2018 ticket.
"The lack of Messi is not a plus or a minus for us in purely football terms," ??Rohr said to Sport Express.
"We have a game plan, which does not depend on him. Although, of course, to play against him would be interesting. Yes, and the fans in Krasnodar, too, probably insulting.
"But the Argentines can be understood, they want to save their captain".
Rohr explained that the friendly against Argentina in Russia was to enable the Super Eagles feel the atmosphere in the host nation.
"Why do we hold a friendly game here in Russia? It turned out that the last match against Algeria in the qualifying tournament for the World Cup was held when we already qualified,'
"It is important for us to see how everything is arranged here before coming to Russia in 2018."