Mikel to be rested, as Balogun looks set to lead in absence of Onazi and Echiejile against Algeria

Mikel to be rested, as Balogun looks set to lead in absence of Onazi and Echiejile against Algeria

Super Eagles Skipper, John Obi Mikel will likely be rested in Friday’s final FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Algeria in Algiers.

Leon Balogun could wear the captain armband for Nigeria in place of Mikel for the first time in his career when they take on Algeria tomorrow in a dead rubber World Cup 2018 Qualifiers tie.

Coach Gernot Rohr is likely to rest regular captain John Obi Mikel to keep him fresh for Tuesday game against Argentina, and in the absence of vice-captain Ogenyi Onazi and Elderson Echiejile, Balogun looks likely to be named the captain.


Hints about Mikel starting from the bench was provided by coach Rohr in yesterday’s training when Mikel lined up with Team B in what was his first training session with the team..

The trio of John Ogu, Ogehenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi played in midfield with the team that lo‎oks more likely to start tomorrow’s game in the tactical session.

A decision will, however, be made by the coach after the team’s final training session this evening in Algeria ahead of the 8:30 pm clash tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation reported via official sources on Wednesday afternoon that the central midfielder has pulled out of the squad. “Turkey-based midfielder Mikel Agu is out of our upcoming games against Algeria and Argentina owing to injury. We’ll miss him, tweeted the Nigerian Federation.

Rohr had already lost five important players Victor Moses, Elderson Echiejile, Eddy Onazi, Moses Simon and Odion Ighalo, who all started the World Cup qualifiers against Zambia, to injuries before this latest setback.

Hapoel Beer Sheva midfielder John Ogu has presumably fully recovered from a quadriceps injury, which prevented him from playing for his Israeli club in three of their last four matches.

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