Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Augustine Eguavoen, has called up forwards, Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo, in the Super Eagles’ provisional list of 32 for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off round against Ghana.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Leicester City FC of England forward, Ademola Lookman, recently cleared by FIFA to switch international allegiance and former U17 World Cup star, Akinkunmi Amoo, are officially called for the first time.
Also, Glasgow Rangers defender, Calvin Bassey, and Watford FC forward, Emmanuel Dennis, return to the fold of the three–time African champions.
Ighalo, whose former Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab, did not permit his participation in the 2021 AFCON will be joined by Dennis whose Premier League club Watford also declined to release him for the trip to Cameroon.
Osimhen is also returning to the squad after the 22-year-old Napoli striker was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 which made him miss out of the action in Cameroon.
A statement by Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Friday, said that the players would be joined by regulars, Captain Ahmed Musa, William Troost-Ekong, Wilfred Ndidi, Moses Simon and Kelechi Iheanacho.
According to Olajire, goalkeepers Maduka Okoye and Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Abdullahi Shehu, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, and Samuel Chukwueze are also called up.
Olajire stated that the 2021 AFCON forwards, Taiwo Awoniyi and Peter Olayinka, defenders Chidozie Awaziem and long-time absentee, Ogenyi Onazi, were in a seven-man standby list.
NAN also reports that the camp is expected to open in Abuja on March 21, with a 24 –man final list for the two big games to be released at a later date.
Nigeria take on the Black Stars of Ghana in the first leg of the playoff at the 20,000-capacity Cape Coast Sports Stadium on March 25 as from 7.30 p.m.
The reverse fixture is set for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on March 29 as from 6 p.m.
The winner over two legs will earn one of Africa’s five tickets to the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals, scheduled for Nov. 14 to Dec.18 in Qatar.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Troost-Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, 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); Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England); Akinkunmi Amoo (FC Copenhagen, Denmark)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Hilal FC, Saudi Arabia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England); Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England)
Standby: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, 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 FC, Saudi Arabia).