Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has called up a total of 30 players for next month’s opening rounds of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying campaign, in which Nigeria will host Liberia in Lagos on Friday, 3 September (Day 1) and tackle Cape Verde in Mindelo on Tuesday, 7 September (Day 2).
Rohr has stuck largely with his dependables as the race to Qatar begins, with goalkeepers Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho, defenders William Ekong, Abdullahi Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem and Leon Balogun, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo, and forwards Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon and Victor Osimhen on the roster.
The situation with UK-based players, who may not be heading to Cape Verde (which is on the red list of the British Government with regards to the global coronavirus pandemic) has enlarged the roster, and should the situation remain unchanged, the eight UK-based players on the list would head back to base after the clash with Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Friday.
There is a return for South Africa-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Kevin Akpoguma and Greece-based forward Henry Onyekuru. Former junior international Kingsley Michael is also called, as Innocent Bonke from Sweden joins the Nigerian camp for the first time.
The Super Eagles, who have featured in six of the past seven FIFA World Cup finals, host the Lone Star of Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Friday, 3 September in a 5pm kickoff and then travel to the Island of Mindelo to play the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde on Day 2 of the series on Tuesday, 7 September.
Central African Republic is the other team in the group, and they will line up for home-and-away encounters with the Super Eagles in October.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany)
Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Samuel Kalu (FC Bordeaux, France); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium)
SEVEN OTHERS: Terem Moffi (FC Lorient, France); Henry Onyekuru (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Innocent Bonke (Malmo FF, Sweden); Valentine Ozornwafor (Sporting Charleroi, Belgium); Tyronne Ebuehi (Venezia FC, Italy); Kingsley Michael (Bologna FC, Italy)