By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Super Eagles defender Ajibade Babalade believes Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr is playing mind games with his possible invitees for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon in September, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Babalade who was in Nigeria's squad at the 1992 Africa Nations Cup in Senegal told Completesportsnigeria.com on Friday, regarding the likely recall of Odion Ighalo and Obafemi Martins: "Odion Ighalo is certain to play in the matches against Cameroon I believe after missing the Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa because he is in great scoring form at the moment.
"Ighalo has not been very prolific in the national team as he wishes (three goals in 10 matches) but his current form means you cannot leave him out.
"As for Martins, plenty of experience in him and age seemingly has not slowed him down. He is also in form in China. But I feel Rohr is playing mind games by talking about who may be involved in those matches in order to keep his counterparts from Cameroon guessing. And as for Mikel Obi, his leadership will be vital, I hope he'll be fit enough for those matches."
Changchun Yatai's Ighalo has scored 10 goals in 19 matches so far in the Chinese Super League this season, while Martins has scored seven goals in 10 matches for Shanghai Shenhua.
"I heard he (Rohr) also talked about Kelechi Iheanacho possibly not playing in attack. Maybe Rohr is joking because Iheanacho has been playing there for Nigeria and has done well since he made his senior team debut," Babalade added.
"This is not unusual with coaches but I'm happy we have strikers scoring regularly for their clubs even if most of them are not doing so in European clubs."
The list of invited Eagles players for the qualifiers on September 1 and 4 is expected to be released soon.