Onazi injury eases Rohr's selection choices. A little ...
With hours to go until Nigeria face Libya, Gernot Rohr's choices for his starting line-up were made a little easier with the injury picked up by Ogenyi Onazi.
The Trabzonspor midfielder picked up what appears to be an ankle strain during training, and has been ruled out for both games against Libya, according to team sources.
Onazi's injury eases Rohr's selection headaches, but only a little bit as he still has a wealth of talent to choose from.
To be fair, the German's headache is limited to just a few positions as the rest of the team practically picks itself.
Rohr's 'Untouchables' so far are goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, and the 'Oyinbo Wall' central defence of William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun.
Joining them is midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and absent skipper John Mikel Obi. Up-front, Ahmed Musa, who looked out of reckoning just before the World Cup, has played and scored himself into an untouchable position.
For the others, previous performance, current form and minutes at club level contribute as selection determinants. That means in defence Shehu Abdullahi may grab the right-back spot, but because of experience over Ola Aina.
In midfield, Oghenekaro Etebo joins Ndidi, and up-front Samuel Kalu and Odion Ighalo complete the attacking trident along with Musa.
Kalu gets in because Rohr favourite Moses Simon is only just recovering from injury, and has only played one game in the Spanish La Liga for Levante. Also, Kalu impressed against Seychelles.
This leaves the questions at left-back and attacking midfield.
Bryan Idowu has been the regular and could well start, but Rohr may just choose to go with Jamilu Collins. The Paderborn left-back impressed in his cameo at Seychelles, and Rohr has talked up not only the fact that he is a natural left-footer, but also his defensive skillset and ability to join the attack at pace.
This suggests that he could well get the nod ahead of Idowu, especially against African opposition.
Which leaves the final position, attacking midfield. Kelechi Iheanacho has been favoured to play there, but in recent games Rohr has used him as the second body in a striking duo. The suggestion being his competition is Ighalo and Isaac.
Iwobi's sizzling form for Arsenall and his impressive training ground showings mean he is unlikely to be benched, all of which puts him ahead of Kele.
So Rohr's likely lineup would look like this: Uzoho, Abdullahi, Collins, Troost-Ekong, Balogun; Ndidi, Etebo, Iwobi; Musa, Ighalo, Kalu