Saturday Mar 05, 2022. 17:32
Nigeria head coach Augustine Eguavoen has named a strong squad for the World Cup qualifying play-off double-header against Ghana later this month.
The Super Eagles will battle it out with their West African rivals over two legs for a place at the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar at the end of the year.
Eguavoen has provisionally called up 32 players, although he is expected to whittle the group down to 24 ahead of the training camp in Abuja on March 21.
The Nigeria Football Federation’s move to mend their relationship with Emmanuel Dennis appears to have paid off after the Watford striker was included in the squad.
Dennis, Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo missed out on the Africa Cup of Nations after their respective clubs refused to release the trio for duty in Cameroon.
Ademola Lookman has been handed his maiden call-up after FIFA granted the former England youth international clearance to change his nationality in order to represent Nigeria at senior level.
Leon Balogun, Peter Etebo and Calvin Bassey also return to the fold, with the former two having recovered from injuries while the latter was omitted from the AFCON squad.
The first leg will take place at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Ghana on March 25, with the second leg occurring at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Nigeria four days later.
Nigeria’s provisional 32-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus), Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands);
Defenders: Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain), Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), William Ekong (Watford, England), Olaoluwa Aina (Torino, Italy), Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal);
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England), Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Peter Etebo (Watford, England), Akinkunmi Amoo (FC Copenhagen, Denmark);
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain), Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Italy), Moses Simon (Nantes, France), Sadiq Umar (Almeria, Spain), Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Emmanuel Dennis (Watford, England), Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England).
Standby: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany), Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium), Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Praha, Czech Republic), Ogenyi Onazi (Al-Adalah, Saudi Arabia).