Super Eagles midfielder John Obi Mikel will be heading to the national team camp on a high having enjoyed a sweet victory with Chelsea on Sunday as the Blues edged city rivals Arsenal 2-0 in the London Derby.
Mikel was brought in the 69th minute by Coach Jose Mourinho to replace German, Andre Schurle, while Chelsea were leading with one goal.
Mikel helped keep Chelsea’s backline firm even as the Blues pushed forward to double their lead through Diego Costa who received a wonderful assist from former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.
While the victory keeps Mikel and his Chelsea teammates top of the EPL standings after seven matches, Arsenal on their part have dropped to the seventh place on the ranking.
Unfortunately, while Mikel will be heading to Nigeria on a high for the next set of Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Sudan, it is not same for his compatriot’ Victor Moses who is increasingly becoming a major doubt for the Eagles crucial games against Sudan away in Omdurman and in Abuja.
Moses was forced off the pitch on Saturday after just 18 minutes of action with fears that he may have aggravated his injured thigh.
The 23-year old who is hoping for a return to the Eagles having been shut out of the national team since his not too impressive outing at the Brazil 2014 World Cup is been critically examined by his club as his Club Coach Mark Hughes maintains that he is puzzled over Moses’ injury.
Aside from Moses, there are other suspected injury headaches for Coach Stephen Keshi as the likes of Babatunde Michael and Sone Aluko – all included in the 23-man roster for the Sudan games – were conspicuously missing for their respective clubs League games.
Babatunde who only recently returned from a broken wrist picked up at the World Cup limped off injured in their cup game against Dnipro after 23 minutes.
On Friday, while his teammates secured a 2-2 draw at home to Vorskla in the league, he wasn’t listed for the game fuelling speculations his injury might be worse than initially feared.
It is yet to be seen how the Big Boss will manage the crisis at hand with very little chances of calling up late replacements for the injured players.