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Mikel Obi Returns to Super Eagles

There are strong indications that coach Stephen Keshi has included Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi in the Super Eagles team list for next month’s Africa Nations Cup match against the Lone Star of Liberia next month.

Mikel opted out of the first leg in Monrovia, which finished 2-2, when it was first learnt that the game will be played on an astro turf pitch. The match was eventually played on natural grass.

Keshi’s programme was on Tuesday handed to the NFF technical department, according to top officials of the glass house.

“The coach has plans to name a killer squad that would include Chelsea stars Mikel Obi and Victor Moses,” a top official told MTNfootball.

Several top officials who accompanied the Eagles to Monrovia earlier this month clamoured for the recall of Mikel after the team’s midfield collapsed against a rampant home team.

Keshi did not respond to The PUNCH enquiry on Wednesday but a member of the technical committee told our correspondent that it was good reasoning that the team list has taken that shape.

He said, “It was not that anybody pressed on Keshi this time to include Mikel but after what we have seen with the last matches, it has become very obvious that every good player is needed if we truly want to qualify and qualify indeed with quality play. But we need not just qualify but do so in a manner that gives us confidendence about the finals in South Africa.”

Our correspondent learnt the same invitation is not going to Osaze Odemwingie because the coach has explained that he needs some time to look at him closely.

Mikel has yet to play under Keshi, who took charge of the Eagles in November.

“For Osaze, he would just be returning from his three-match ban and the coach feels he has not seen enough of him so I don’t think he would be making the Liberia game,” the official revealed.

The match will be played on October 13 in Calabar.

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