Kelechi Iheanacho suffered a hand fracture during his stay with Nigeria over the international break, leaving the Foxes forward in jeopardy of missing this weekend’s Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Nigeria manager Gernot Roar confirmed the striker’s injury prior to Tuesday night’s defeat against Serbia.
“Unfortunately, we have one broken hand’, said Rohr, according to the Leicester Mercury. “This player cannot play. He has fractured the first metacarpal. This is Kelechi Iheanacho, so he will not be with us.”
This season, Iheanacho has scored five goals in all competitions for the 2015/16 PL champions, however, the 21-year-old has found the back of the net just once in league play.
The Three Lions will be playing tough non-European competition this June in preparation for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The FA announced on Wednesday that England will host Nigeria and Costa Rica in a pair of friendlies in early June ahead of the start of the World Cup. England will face Nigeria on June 2 at Wembley Stadium before taking on Costa Rica in Leeds on June 9.
The two matches serve a purpose of preparing England for two of its group stage opponents – Tunisia and Panama, which are in the same confederations as Nigeria and Costa Rica, respectively.
Of course, England memorably were held to a scoreless draw by Costa Rica in the final group stage game at the 2014 World Cup, ensuring England’s earlier-than-anticipated exit while allowing Costa Rica to advance as group winners.
Germany, France even in 2-2 draw; Spain, Russia’s 6-goal thriller
In what could very well be a preview of the World Cup final next summer, Germany and France traded blows on Tuesday, as the home side came from a goal behind on two occasions to draw Les Bleus, 2-2.
Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette put France ahead just after the half-hour mark, courtesy of Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial‘s assist, but Timo Werner, who over the last 18 months has played himself into serious consideration for the starting job at center forward, equalized in the 56th minute.
Lacazette made it 2-1 in the 71st, but Lars Stindl, the other late emergence of this cycle, brought the defending world champions level once again in the 92nd minute.
Russia 3-3 Spain
Sergio Ramos scored twice (both times from the penalty spot) and Jordi Alba provided another for Spain, but Julen Lopeteguia’s side gave all three goals back to a Russian side which hasn’t played a competitive fixture since EURO 2016, and hasn’t fared well at all in recent friendlies.
Alba’s opener came after nine minutes, followed in the 35th by Ramos’ first penalty kick. Six minutes into the second half, it was 2-2 after Fedor Smolov and Aleksey Miranchuk scored either side of halftime. Three minutes later, Ramos converted another from the penalty spot, only so see Smolov hit back for Russia’s third in the 70th minute.
Having opted to play his first-choice backline, Lopeteguia might have a few small concerns following the final international break of 2017.
Argentina 2-4 Nigeria
Speaking of shoddy defending, Argentina conceded four against fellow World Cup qualifiers Nigeria.
Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi (times two) Brian Idowu more than canceled out goals scored by Ever Banega and Sergio Aguero.
The big story coming out of this game, though, is the health of Aguero, after he fainted in the locker room at halftime. He reportedly “got dizzy and had to leave,” and was taken to a nearby hospital, but quickly rejoined his national teammates and is expected to once again be available for selection for Manchester City.
China 0-4 Colombia
Felipe Pardo, Carlos Bacca and Miguel Borja (times two) made sure Colombia bounced back immediately following their loss to South Korea over the weekend. Notably absent for Colombia was James Rodriguez, who departed camp before Tuesday’s game and returned to Bayern Munich.
Elsewhere in int’l friendlies
England 0-0 Brazil
Belgium 1-0 Japan
Austria 2-1 Uruguay
South Korea 1-1 Serbia
Qatar 1-1 Iceland
Hungary 1-0 Costa Rica
Wales 1-1 Panama
The 19-year-old is expected to announce that he’ll play for Nigeria — the country of his father’s birth — after having represented England at various youth levels since 2014.
Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has made it clear that he believes Abraham will represent the Super Eagles at next summer’s World Cup in Russia, assuming Nigeria qualifies for the competition.
“I had a very honest and productive discussion with Tammy and his father last week,” said Pinnick.
“It’s been a long process but I can tell you authoritatively that he has agreed to play for Nigeria and not England. He and his parents have started the necessary documents to effect the switch.
“Clearly he understands he stands a better chance playing for the Super Eagles. With his talent he has the ability to fight for a place in the Nigeria squad, by God’s grace we make it to Russia, then he would contest for a chance to represent his fatherland.”
Nigeria currently leads its CAF World Cup qualifying group in the final round of African qualification, and a victory over Zambia on October 7 would ensure the country’s place in Russia next summer.
The Super Eagles have a number of players Abraham is familiar with, given their connection to Chelsea, including Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel, youngster Ola Aina and current Blues wing back Victor Moses.