Nigeria have lost only one competitive game to South Africa (image courtesy NFF)

Former Nigeria international Austine Okocha does not regard South Africa’s Bafana Bafana as Super Eagles’ rivals.

The two sides go head-to-head on Saturday afternoon in a crucial Group E 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Johannesburg.

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After suffering a home defeat to Bafana in their opening group game in June 2017, the Eagles responded with three straight wins to take charge of the group on nine points.

And a win against the 1996 African champions at the FNB Stadium will confirm their place in next year’s tournament in Cameroon.

But many Nigerians believe the Eagles would find their hosts difficult to crack.

However, speaking ahead of the cracker, Okocha, an Afcon winner in 1994, suggested that Nigeria were far better.

“No, we do not see South Africa as our rivals, but we know that they are very tough opponents,” he told Soccerladuma.

“Maybe the Nigerians who are living here [in South Africa] see that as bragging rights, but I do not have to go with what fans make of the game.

“I speak as a football personality, somebody who has been there before, you know. So I know they are not our rivals, but it is always a good match to watch.”