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Gernot Rohr faces selection headache

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

After their first full training session on Tuesday, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr confessed that he will have trouble selecting the starting line-up for face Cameroon on Friday.

The Super Eagles take on the Indomitable Lions in the first of two 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, which could determine their respective fortunes for the Russia showpiece.

With his captain John Obi Mikel and other regulars returned to the squad, along with new players champing at the bit, Rohr says he will have no idea who starts until after watching Wednesday's training.

"It will be difficult for me to choose 11 starting players because everybody wants to play," he told reporters after the session. "It is a good compliment. We will continue tomorrow. It will be a closed training tomorrow.

"I ask you to understand because we must prepare our team at least once alone without journalists, so I think tomorrow night I will have in my mind the team which will start this important match against Cameroon."

There are three key decisions for Rohr to make: Who starts in goal, which midfielder drops out for Mikel, and which of Odion Ighalo or Kelechi Iheanacho starts upfront.

Minor decisions will be the fullbacks; whether to stick with one or both of Elderson Echiejile and Shehu Abdullahi, or go with younger versions. Experience is likely to trump novelty. Upfront, the other choice is between Ahmed Musa and Moses Simon. Rohr has favoured Simon over Musa in the past, and unless there is some drastic change, that is expected to continue.