Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has confirmed he will leave out captain John Mikel Obi, from their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria on Friday.
Rohr will also hand a debut to young FC Deportivo Coruna goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, in the dead rubber fixture.
The German explained that Mikel Obi will not play, because he arrived late to camp and did not train enough with the squad.
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr is set to start captain John Obi Mikel from the bench to keep him fresh for the friendly game against Argentina in Russia on Tuesday while Leon Balogun could wear the captain armband.
The match against Algeria is inconsequential and most senior team players are likely to start from the substitute bench.
Vice captain Ogenyi Onazi and Elderson Echiejile are already ruled out after sustaining various degress of injuries in the club sides.
“I will rest Mikel for Friday’s game but he will be ready for the game against Argentina,” Rohr
“It will be an opportunity for the other players to show that they are worthy of being in with this group and fight for World Cup places in the squad.
“We are going to play without six regulars due to withdrawals through injury and the need to test some fringe players. Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon, Elderson Echiejile, Onazi Onazi will miss the game with Algeria due to injuries. Mikel Obi misses out due to late arrival.”
Rohr continued: “The young goalkeeper Francis Uzoho will get a chance to show whether he is good enough to be in this group and join us to the World Cup. He will get his chance to play just like others who did not get much playing time during the qualifiers.
“The Argentina game will be a good opportunity to test our strength against a very good team with the best player in the world Lionel Messi and also to feel the atmosphere in Russia and see our camping base. Everyone will have the opportunity to play against Argentina and see how it goes. The preparation for the World Cup is on and I am glad.”