Super Eagles midfielder John Ogu has described the absence of captain Mikel Obi for the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier with Seychelles as a “huge blow.”
Nigeria, third in the Group E standing as they battle for a place in Cameroon next year, will take on the Pirates on Saturday.
Having lost the first game of the qualification series to South Africa in June 2017, the three-time African champions must win Saturday’s game to revive their qualification hopes.
Mikel who played at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, was ruled out of the clash by coach Gernot Rohr due to fitness concerns.
However, Ogu has said the team would cope without the former Chelsea man during the encounter.
“It’s a huge blow if the captain (Mikel) of the team isn’t available for such a crucial match, but we have players capable of filling the void,” the 30-year-old Hapoel Beer Sheva man told reporters.
“We lost our first game so it’s imperative to win on Saturday to brighten our chances.”
He added that “We are looking forward to the match as our opponents are relatively unknown. The fear of the unknown is what will motivate us to victory.”