Nigeria’s Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has released a list of 23 players invited for next month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying clash against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in Ndola.
The Franco-German retained majority of the squad that registered a 1-0 win over Tanzania in the final 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match in Uyo but has added Turkey defender Kenneth Omeruo, Belgium –based midfielder Anderson Esiti and English Premiership duo Isaac Success and Alex Iwobi.
Skipper Mikel John Obi, vice captain Ahmed Musa, goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, defender Elderson Echiejile, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and in –form Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho make a return.
However, Rohr has excused Watford star Odion Ighalo, who will attend his father’s burial in Nigeria on the 8th of October which is eve of the away match in Zambia. Injured Gent of Belgium striker Moses Simon is listed after assuring the manager of his fitness after resuming full treatment.
All invited players are expected to start arriving in Abuja as from the October 2.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick has said there is no panic as the Super Eagles have good chances of making the World Cup in Russia at the expense of Zambia, Algeria and Cameroon who enjoy a better rating.
“We have a good coach and the best set of players in Africa, and I believe these two factors will help us qualify for Russia 2018. My dream is not just to qualify for the World Cup but to reach the last four of the tournament. We don’t have all the funds we need right now but I’m sure the team is currently in a good hands,” said Pinnick.
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah)
Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Paul Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (Standard Liege, Belgium), Kingsley Madu (SV Zulte Waregem, Belgium)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel); Anderson Esiti (KAA Gent, Belgium)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England)