Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has made it clear he will continue to play John Mikel Obi, as long as he gives his all in training.
Rohr claims the 29-year-old, who has not made a single appearance under new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, is being punished for representing Nigeria at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.
Although he is yet to play club football this season, Rohr says he will continue to pick the Eagles captain.
“He is being punished for deciding to go to the Olympics for Nigeria,” Rohr told ESPN FC.
“He is training well and doing well for us. I cannot punish him for deciding to make a sacrifice for Nigeria.”
Nigeria will be seeking to extend their lead at the top of the African qualifying Group B, when they host Algeria on Saturday.
The Super Eagles defeated Zambia 2-1 in Ndola in the first round of fixtures, while Algeria were held to a 1-1 draw by Cameroon.