Nigeria’s Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has invited 23 players, including Captain Mikel John Obi and goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, for next month’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania.
The match is a dead rubber, as both teams have been eliminated. But Rohr and the Super Eagles are using the game as rehearsal for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series Matchday 1 clash with Zambia in Ndola in October.
The Franco-German, named Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles by the NFF two weeks ago, called up three goalkeepers, eight defenders, four midfielders and eight forwards for the game scheduled for the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo, on Saturday, 3rd September.
Mikel Obi, whose sterling leadership of the Nigeria U23 to the Bronze Medal match of the Rio 2016 Olympics has won praise, is joined in the midfield by the energetic Ogenyi Onazi.
The midfield also has Belgium –based former youth international Wilfred Ndidi and Israel–based Nosa Igiebor, who has not featured for Nigeria since missing the cut for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Emmanuel Daniel, who has done his reputation no harm with some breath –taking reflex saves at the Olympics, joins Carl Ikeme and Ikechukwu Ezenwa to fight for the gloves.
Home –based Jamiu Alimi finds a place too amongst Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Musa Muhammed, Elderson Echiejile and Kingsley Madu in the defence.
Rohr, a former defender, has also opted for a strong attacking line, with assistant captain Ahmed Musa leading Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Imoh Ezekiel, Odion Ighalo, Brown Ideye and youngster Victor Osimhen.
All the players have been directed to report in Uyo on Sunday, 28th August 2016.
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah)
Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Troost-Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France), Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia)
Midfielders:Mikel John Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel)
Forwards:Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Imoh Ezekiel (Al-Arabi Sporting Club, Qatar), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg FC, Germany)