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 By Colin Udoh

Manchester United could fit for John Mikel Obi if he leaves Chelsea

Antonio Conte's Chelsea have been flying under his new system, but Gab Marcotti explains why more changes can be expected.

John Mikel Obi has not kicked a ball in anger for Chelsea this season. Barring injury or a catastrophic loss of form to both N'Golo Kante and Nemanja Magic, it is unlikely that situation will change significantly.

Fortunately, the lack of playing time has not affected his form, at least not on the evidence of his recent showings for Nigeria, both at the Olympic Games and during the course of 2018 World Cup qualifying.

The current state of affairs cannot continue, however, and the midfielder has...

 By Colin Udoh

Balogun, Troost-Ekong partnership can seal World Cup ticket for Rohr's Nigeria

Defence will be key to Nigeria's success in World Cup qualifying and beyond.

Despite winning 2-1 away to Zambia in October, there were many who felt Nigeria's defence was exposed too many times by Chipolopolo. The general agreement seemed to be that against the more talented and efficient Algerians, the creaky back line would struggle to hold up.

Even Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr admitted that defence was one department that needed fixing, so he set about making it happen in the month leading up to the Algeria tie.

Both full-back positions have been particularly problematic,...

 By Colin Udoh

Nigeria's victory over Algeria in Uyo proves that jinxes are only in the mind

Nigeria dismissed Algeria with a 3-1 win on Saturday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo to open up a four point gap at the top of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group.

Two goals from Victor Moses, either side of teammate John Obi Mikel's strike helped seal the deal despite some nail-biting moments occasioned by Nabil Bentaleb's ferocious drive from distance.

Here are five thoughts from the match:

1. Bringing your own bedding doesn't help

It's hard to imagine what Algeria were thinking when...

 By Colin Udoh

Five clubs Chelsea's Jon Obi Mikel could join in January

John Mikel Obi
John Obi Mikel is yet to see a minute of first-team action for Chelsea this season.

While Chelsea are flourishing under the guidance of Antonio Conte, Nigerian midfielder Jon Obi Mikel has failed to gain a place in the Italian tactician's lineup.

Here are five clubs that could really use the services of the midfield general in the January transfer window.

1. Manchester United

This may sound outrageous, but it could turn into reality. He has played and thrived under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and the Manchester United midfield is a mess that needs a calming influence. Michael Carrick,...

 By Colin Udoh

William Troost-Ekong slowly becoming indispensable to Nigeria

William Troost-Ekong
Former Tottenham Hotspur defender William Troost-Ekong has come on in leaps and bounds over the past 12 months.

Few fixtures will catch the eye in this year's final weekend of CAF 2018 World Cup qualifying than that involving Nigeria and Algeria.

Africa's recently dethroned top-ranked side travel to the laidback Nigerian city of Uyo to face off against the continent's recently fallen giants. And there will be no shortage of star names to headline the news pages, TV reels and blogs.

For all the hundreds of column inches and expensive airtime that will be written about the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Riyad...

 By Mark Gleeson

Gabon's sacking of Jorge Costa is history repeating itself in Africa

Gabon's coach head Jorge Costa makes a point from the sideline during their African Cup of Nations Group A soccer match against Equatorial Guinea in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.
Gabon sacked Jorge Costa just months before the African Nations Cup, a surprisingly common move from African federations.

The firing of Jorge Costa by Gabon just 70 days before they host the African Nations Cup continues a sorry tale of panicked and knee-jerk decision making by African football federations. Changing the coach so near to a major event is nothing new to the continent. But, sadly, it has rarely produced the desired results and on most occasions achieved little more than highlighting the foolhardiness of trigger-happy officials.

Gabon's new coach will be Jose Antonio Garrido, who does have some insider...