In less than three weeks, the Super Eagles are heading to South Africa for a Match Day 5 AFCON 2019 qualifier, to be played at the First National Bank Stadium in Johannesburg. Nigeria are top of the group thanks largely to the fumble by the South Africans against Seychelles in the last round.
Since Libya are way down in third place with just four points, theoretically, Nigeria need just a single point from the last two games to qualify for the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year.
Coach Gernot Rohr has on Monday released his squad list for the upcoming qualifier and the friendly against Uganda. There are 23 names on the list and once again, John Obi Mikel is not on the list. But this time, the Nigerian coach finally had to admit that the Super Eagles legend has taken some time away from international football and has said that he would let the coach know when he is ready to come back.
There are a few changes to the squad. Shehu Abdullahi won’t be able to play as he is still recovering from an injury he sustained against Libya. Another name missing from the defence is Chidozie Awaziem who’s been put on standby by Rohr.
In midfield, one notable absence is Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi. Ogenyi Onazi from Trabzonspor is also not on the list.
Nine attackers have made the squad including Samuel Chukwueze who will make his debut in the Super Eagles team. Henry Onyekuru from Galatasaray, who was in the team for the last two matches, has been put on standby.
This time there are only two players who play in Nigeria, the Enyimba FC keeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Adeleye Aniyikaye, the FC Ifeanyi Ubah defender. The rest of the squad play in 13 different teams across the world. Details on the team meet-up date and the training ground will be available once they are released. The game in South Africa is scheduled for 17th November while the friendly against Uganda will take place on 20th November.
Here is the full squad list.
Francis Uzoho (Elche, Spain)
Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC)
Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Olaoluwa Aina (Torino, Italy)
Adeleye Aniyikaye (FC Ifeanyi Ubah)
Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)
Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia)
William Ekong (Udinese, Italy)
Leon Balogun (Brighton, England)
Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes, Spain)
Jamilu Collins (SC Paderborn, Germany)
Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England)
John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal)
Ahmed Musa (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)
Moses Simon (Levante, Spain)
Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi, Belgium)
Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China)
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, England)
Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux, France)
Isaac Success (Watford, England)
Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain)