Italy based defender William Ekong and midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo are expected to lead Super Eagles to Dnipro, Ukraine today, ahead of Tuesday’s international friendly match with the host country’s senior team.
It is the first outing for the three-time African champions since they finished third at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) held in Egypt, this year.
Goalkeepers Francis Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa; defenders Olaoluwa Aina, Chidozie Awaziem, Ekong, Leon Balogun and Jamilu Collins, as well as midfielders Alex Iwobi and Etebo and forwards Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Paul Onuachu and Samuel Kalu were in Egypt.
But there would be excitement about a rash of new faces alongside a couple of returnees. Defenders Bryan Idowu and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, and Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho are back after being overlooked for the Africa Cup.
Germany-based goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, midfielder Joseph Aribo of Scottish club Glasgow Rangers and forwards Joshua Maja (France) and Emmanuel Dennis (Belgium) are hitting the camp for the first time.
Saudi Arabia-based Captain Ahmed Musa pulled out of the trip on Thursday night as a result of injury that has failed to heal as quickly as he expected, adding to the earlier forced withdrawals of defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Tyronne Ebuehi, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and forward Henry Onyekuru.
Ukraine is rated number 25 on the FIFA ranking while Nigeria is 33rd. both sides will be meeting at the senior level for the first time.