Nigeria have been handed a huge blow with the news that Leon Balogun will miss their World Cup Group D game against Croatia on Saturday.
The Brighton & Hove centre-back is a key man for the Super Eagles but has been ruled out for at least one match after sustaining injury in training.
It is a major setback for head coach Gernot Rohr who relies on the solidity of the 29-year-old who marshals his defence.
Balogun missed the team’s training session on Thursday as he went for a scan to determine the severity of the injury he picked up in training on Wednesday as the Eagles stepped up preparations for the Croatia cracker.
The injury will heap more pressure on striker Odion Ighalo to fire the squad into the knockout stages but how he copes with defence seriously weakened remains to be seen.
If Rohr decides to field a flat four, William Troost Ekong will pair Kenneth Omeruo at central defence. The German tactician also favours a three-man defence with John Ogu joining Ekong and Omeruo.
Nigeria have won only one of their last five matches, a 1-0 victory over Poland, which will spark fears amongst fans.