Mikel was widely expected to return to the team after his first appearance in two weeks for his Chinese side Tianjin Teda but once again the veteran was snubbed by coach Gernot Rohr.

Initial reports suggest he was dropped due to concerns about his fitness as he isn’t fully fit yet, while another source revealed to Owngoalnigeria.com that he suffered a relapse of same injury upon his return.

On the other hand Joel Obi was dropped due to injury as he is yet to play for his Serie A side Chievo for a month now plus the fact that he is set to miss further two weeks on the sidelines.

Rohr settled for the quarter of Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and John Ogu, however the inclusion of Semi Ajayi means the team presently has as many as five midfielders.

Although he is primarily a central defender, Semi made his mark this season as a defensive midfielder and if need be he could file in same position just like Shehu Abdullahi who is a defensive midfielder at his club but a right back with the senior national team of Nigeria.