Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has called up stand-in Captain Ahmed Musa and 22 other players for next month’s crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between the Super Eagles and South Africa in Johannesburg.
The same set of players will prosecute the friendly encounter against the Cranes of Uganda at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba three days later.
Skipper of the side Mikel Obi remains absent, but other usual suspects like stand-in skipper Ahmed Musa and man-of-the-moment Odion Ighalo are included.
Former U-17 World Cup-winning forward Victor Osimhen returns after a long time out, with another U-17 World Cup winning forward Samuel Chukwueze earning a first call.
Midfielder Mikel Agu, who played some part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and home-based defender Adeleye Olamilekan Aniyikaye are also called; otherwise the 65-year-old tactician has kept faith with the group that decimated Libya’s Mediterranean Knights over two legs earlier this month.
Midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, who is ineligible for the match after bagging yellow cards in the away matches against Seychelles and Libya, has been left out.
The Eagles top Group E of the qualifiers with nine points, and battle second -placed South Africa at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on Saturday, 17th November in one of the Matchday 5 fixtures.
Victory in the top-of-the-table encounter will automatically send the Eagles to the finals in Cameroon, with the second ticket in Group E to be down to a fierce call between the Bafana and the Mediterranean Knights.
The Super Eagles will fly from Johannesburg to Asaba on 18th November for the friendly with the Cranes on 20th November.
All the invited players are expected to report direct in Asaba on Monday, 12th November.
The Full List
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Elche FC, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa).
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Adeleye Aniyikaye (FC IfeanyiUbah); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany).
Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal FC, Portugal).
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nasr FC, Saudi Arabia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux FC, France); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain).
Standby: Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Nyima Nwagua (Kano Pillars FC); Sunday Adetunji (Enyimba FC); Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars FC).