Mikel returns, Messi out of Nigeria, Argentina clash

Sergio Aguero Argentina

Mikel returns, Messi out of Nigeria, Argentina clash

The China-based midfielder said the Eagles have made remarkable progress under coach Gernot Rohr and this will be evident against Argentina today from 5.30pm.

Captain John Mikel Obi will return to the super Eagles starting XI as Nigeria take on Argentina in an worldwide friendly in Krasnodar, Russia on Tuesday.

Nigeria qualified for next year's World Cup from a tough group that included African champions Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia with a game to spare.

Nigeria will be in a celebratory mood when they walk out to face their opponents, fresh from completing qualification for the World Cup as unbeaten group winners.

The South American giant will be without their super star, Lionel Messi as the soccer icon withdrew from the squad after La Albiceleste 1-0 victory in Moscow at the weekend.

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Organisers say there will be maximum changes of six players per team for this match.

"The game will start at 7pm local time, which is 5pm in Nigeria", Eagles spokesman Toyin Ibitoye informed.

Ironically, he is one of five Nigeria players who can boast of having scored against Argentina at senior level.

Aguero remains in good form, but Argentina will need to do better in the final third if they are to make short work of the Nigerian threat.

In both drawn games away from home, they were pegged back by late penalty kicks to the hosts in the dying minutes.

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