Super Falcons head coach, Florence Omagbemi, has tipped Ghana and hosts of this year's Africa Women's Cup of Nations, Cameroon, as the main threats to her team's quest to win their eight African title.
The Falcons, who are already in Cameroon for the AWCON, are in Group B along with rivals Ghana, Mali and newcomers Kenya.
Group A has hosts Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Egypt and South Africa.
Speaking ahead of the Falcons' opener against Mali on Sunday, Omagbemi who won the AWCON title as captain in 1998, 2000 and 2002, however pointed out that despite the threats from their rivals, her team's mission is to defend their title.
"In my playing days, it was never easy games against the Ghanaians though we usually had the upper hands," Omagbemi told cafonline.
"Nigeria and Ghana started women’s football at the same time and they have ideas and talents about the women’s game. So, the Black Queens and even the Cameroonians would naturally want to pose a challenge, but we are going to take our matches one at a time because there are no smaller teams again in football.
"We are not under any pressure; we just want to retain our trophy as the defending champions."
The four-time FIFA Women's World Cup star went on to reveal how she ended up becoming a coach after retiring from active play.
"I think the talent was there all along with me, but it never manifested until somebody discovered it and pushed you into it," she said.
"Sincerely, I was never looking towards this direction when I was playing but most of the coaches I worked with had always noticed the leadership qualities in me, both at the club and national team levels. So they gave me much responsibility when I'm on the pitch to direct my teammates.
"So, I worked with them not as a coach but as a captain; and since I've been playing for the national team, I knew this opportunity will come one day because women's football had always been my passion."