Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up 23 players for next week’s all-important 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying showdown against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The list was made available on Tuesday morning on the website of the Nigeria Football Federation.
Skipper Mikel John Obi and forward Odion Ighalo (both based in China) and England-based Victor Moses, who bossed the two encounters against Cameroon earlier this month, retained their places.
However Portugal-based goalkeeper Dele Alampasu dropped down to the standby sector alongside wing back Tyronne Ebuehi and South Africa-based Daniel Akpeyi.
Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi return after injury knocked them out of the sessions against the African champions.
The list is essentially the same personnel that decimated the Indomitable Lions, with defenders Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu, William Ekong and Elderson Echiejile, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Ogenyi Onazi and Oghenekaro Etebo and forwards Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon and Anthony Nwakaeme also included.
Two home-based professionals, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Afeez Aremu, who were part of the Super Eagles B that finished as runners-up at the just-concluded WAFU Cup of Nations in Ghana, are in the standby sector, but will join the team’s training sessions in Uyo.
Nigeria welcome Zambia on October 7 at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, with the minimum win to guarantee a sixth FIFA World Cup appearance in Russia next year summer ahead of the final qualifying match away to Algeria in November.
All invited players are to report in Uyo on October 2, 2017.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Ayodele Ajiboye (Plateau United FC).
Defenders: William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Elderson Echiejile (Sivasspor FC, Turkey); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England).
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Chang Chun-Yatai, China); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Anthony Nwakaeme (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
STANDBY: Dele Alampasu (Cesarense FC, Portugal); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Afeez Aremu (Akwa United); Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United).