England are preparing for their final two friendlies of a turbulent yet successful year in which they qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Hodgson, writing in the programme for the Nigeria v Italy game at his old club, Fulham, next week, said: "There are many African players out there of excellent quality.
"They play in the top European leagues and that makes the African nations very strong.
"Nigeria have traditionally been one of the strongest, with some famous names in their team. Whoever is at the game on Monday night will see two very good teams and it will be an exciting outcome.
Who knows? We may even see a little pointer for how things will go in Brazil."
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