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2026 WCQ: Finidi Unveils Super Eagles Squad For South Africa, Benin Games

2026 WCQ: Finidi Unveils Super Eagles Squad For South Africa, Benin Games

Nigeria’s Head Coach, Finidi George, has picked rave-of-the-moment Ademola Lookman, African Player of the Year Victor Osimhen and safe hands Stanley Nwabali among a crop of 23 players who will do battle with South Africa’s Bafana Bafana and the Cheetahs of Benin Republic in upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

George also selected goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, England-based defenders Calvin Bassey and Semi Ajayi, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Alex Iwobi and Alhassan Yusuf, and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Boniface and Terem Moffi.

Remo Stars’ hard-as-nails defender Sadiq Ismael is called for the first time, with Turkey-based midfielder Fisayo Bashiru, Bayer Leverkusen of Germany’s Nathan Tella and lanky forward Paul Onuachu also called.

Read Also:Fernandes: I’ll Only Remain At Old Trafford If My Expectations Match Man United

Nigeria confront South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Friday, 7th June starting from 8pm, and then fly to Abidjan to tackle Benin Republic at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on Monday, 10th June starting from 4pm CIV time (5pm Nigeria time).


Goalkeepers: Stanley Nwabali (Chippa United, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Udinese FC, Italy); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)

Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Boavista FC, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Sadiq Ismael (Remo Stars FC); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Benjamin Tanimu (Ihefu SC, Tanzania)

Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Alhassan Yusuf Abdullahi (Royal Antwerp FC, Belgium); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England); Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayspor, Turkey)

Forwards: Nathan Tella (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Paul Onuachu (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France)

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  • Michel 3 weeks ago

    Nice list,my only worry is Okoye,he is not yet mentally ready to play for the Eagles ,finidi should not make the mistake of playing him in any of our games till we have a friendly match,if he starts I won’t watch,finidi is gradually retiring those that don’t want to retire

    • Ololo 3 weeks ago

      Who Told you he is not mentally ready..do you know what it means to play week in week out in Seria a.. do you know what it means to displace the first team goalkeeper in your first season in a club..

      Maduka is a professional and has played at the highest level.. congratulations to him..

      My only worry in the squad is the fact that we have no single Left back in the squad.. how do you play two competitive games without a Left back? That’s risky! Bassey doesn’t play Left back for his club and the npfl guy is a right back ( I heard he has the highest number of assist in the npfl current season and doing so from the right back) but who will play Left back for us..

      • Kenneth 3 weeks ago

        So why didn’t he display his professionalism then. Why is it now that he wants to come and show us his professional side. He walked out on the team. So how are we so sure he is mentally ready to Man the post for the national team. This is not Serie A game. Abeg o let us know his mental state for the national team.

        Bassey is a natural left back, he just inter-changes his position thats all

      • Michel 3 weeks ago

        Okoye is playing week in week out but have u seen his game? They are almost relegated,he concedes cheap goals weekly,as for left back,the Remo star guy is a left back

    • Why not shut up if you don’t know what to type…

    • TALK UR OWN 3 weeks ago


      • Philip 3 weeks ago

        And how many minutes did he play in those games. Kindly point to a single game he started and ended. Just stop the hating

    • Chima E Samuels 3 weeks ago

      At Michael is very right can someone go and check the long range free kick pull that Okoye conceded against Bologna. Okoye has been regular for Udinese but he is still a suspect, for now let us continue with Stanley and please do away with Ojo in place of Rasheed in Sweden. The other invitations are excellent. Finidi will do well judging by this list of players invited.

    • Isaac 3 weeks ago

      Who says he is not yet mentally ready come on bro get over it, the guy only committed just one error and Nigerians cancelled him what of the numerous errors Uzoho made and tell me a goalkeeper that hasn’t committed an error? Hope you remember Manuel neuer

  • Purified 3 weeks ago

    I wish Nigeria luck

    • Oseodion Inegbenebor 3 weeks ago

      The list shows the Super Eagles has a great future with their coach. And like many other fans, I welcome the list. And clearly, Coach Finidi wants the wins with all his heart and expects it to come true. Regardless, the players must thread with caution by not being complacent. It has got to be mass attack, defense and hold up play for the entire duration.

  • Where is Ola Aina? Where is Kenneth Omeruo? I thought Troost Ekong is back to full fitness? Is Chukwueze’s injury gone?

    Somebody please tell me what is going on?

    • Chibuike 3 weeks ago

      Our defence need experience centre defender atleast one!

    • Tony K 3 weeks ago

      Why is Ola Aina not invited? I don’t mind not inviting Emeruo or Troost Ekong, who may not have fully recovered from injury but the trajan horse, Anna played last Sunday for Nottingham Forest in the EPL. What’s going on?

  • Coache 3 weeks ago

    Finidi ought to have started with the home based players likening the days of Westerhof. That is why I missed Siasia, because the EVIL NFF will say they don’t have money, SIAONE will go and beg Ifeanyi Ubah and the Bayelsa state governor to camp the home based.

    Nevertheless, I wish the team best of luck but there are easier/possible ways to solicit funds to camp homebased and pay, feed them appropriately before the foreign based will arrive.

    • Chima E Samuels 3 weeks ago

      Coache what did you smoke tonight??? Which home based should he camp???

  • No left back. I hope the opponent won’t exploit the left.

    And by the way, how about Ola Aina ? The list is not complete without Ola Aina.

    • Tony K 3 weeks ago

      Agreed, Paul Onuachu is a waste of space in the SE attacking line up. Don’t know why they still invite him as an striker.

  • Aleks 3 weeks ago

    Is Ola Aina injured or is there a mistake somewhere?
    Also what of happened Gabriel Osho? In these crucial World Cup qualifiers, with Troost-Ekongs absence, would we not rather go for the premier league tested Gabriel Osho as cover rather than an NPFL greenhorn in the name of Sadiq Ismael? Can we even trust Tanzania based Benjamin Tanimu yet for such crucial matches?
    The midfield and attack selections are on point, the defense leaves a lot to worry about. Semi Ajayi has not played much recently and Awaziem has been quite inconsistent. Also, there seem to be no no.3 in the squad unless Finidi plans to deploy Bassey there, which will be a huge gamble as he is perhaps our best central defender from this squad list.
    Fingers crossed.

    • Chima E Samuels 3 weeks ago

      The only missing player is Ola Aina, I’m not a fan of Gabriel Osho after what Man City did to him. He should keep improving our target should be Tosin Adarabioyo and not average Osho!!!!

      • Mahmud Shuaib 3 weeks ago

        Who is average? Is playing week in week out in the EPL Moimoi to you? Check his ‘Whoscored.com’ stats as well as that of Flashscores.Com and you will see that he’s Luton Town’s best CB despite playing fewer matches than the others.

        Are you trying to compare to Awaziem or Tiamiyu with Osho??

        Aribo, Ndidi and Iwobi are on current form and experience, our best Midfield trio. Don’t understand why he left out Aribo.

        Also I don’t know what Igho Ogbu needs to do again before he gets a call up?

        • pompei 3 weeks ago

          Igho Ogbu offended his village people.
          He needs to settle with them.

          • Aleks 3 weeks ago

            @Pompei, I wonder too. Igho Ogbu definitely merits a place in this list. As a matter of fact should have been part of the Super Eagles set up long before now.
            Also, Tosin Adarabioyo, but no one really knows if Tosin has actually accepted to play for Nigeria, if he has, when his nationality change process will be concluded. Then there is also Jordan Torunariga who should have been considered ahead of some of these untested defenders. Regarding left back, if Aina is injured alongside Sanusi, couldn’t we have listed Bruno Onyemaechi who has recovered and played at least one match for his club, or even get Colins who is an experienced Super Eagles campaigner rather than going into two crucial matches without a natural left back. I’m not comfortable with any plans to move Bassey to left back as such will greatly weaken our central defence.

    • Adebiyi olusoji 3 weeks ago

      Remember, osayi samuel is in the square.he also operates from that position also. Let us not bother ourselves for now. These sets of players will deliver.Ola Aina, Ekong, Omeruo ,Simon went for surgeries after the nation’s cup. So these players are just coming back to full fitness and it will not be good to risk them for now

  • I suspect aino to be injured.. he didn’t make the squad for his club last game in the epl ( and this is someone who starts all games for his club side)

    Onyemachi played for his club in their Last game ( I know he has been injured for weeks now)

    So Nigeria do not have a left back? That’s very sad!

  • Not a bad list but what happened to ola Aina? No known left back except Bassey that is my only worry. But lets watch and see

  • Thought I saw tosin, osho, akpon and some other new faces in the initial 35man list, why did he dropped them without kicking a ball?





  • Aina should be in the list, except something we are not aware of happened.He is one of our best defenders.

  • Abbey 3 weeks ago

    Fake list! Stop posting fake news! Osmehin and Onyeka have been pulled out from the upcoming world cup qualifying.

    • Daniel Abvin 3 weeks ago

      Says who? That team is gone without Osimhen. Haba! People should say what they know.

  • I still have not seen the rationale for inviting Chikwueze to the national team.

  • A sharp departure from Peseiro is the summoning of more midfielders. That should make some fans happy and provide a glimpse into Finidi’s philosophy. Still in midfield, Aribo’s absence will not be mourned in some corners as Dele-Bashiru will be keen to show what he brings to the table. The mid looks strong.

    Up front, Paul Onuachu is having the form of his life so deserves his call up. Chukwueze continues to be given a lifeline by those who believe he still has the midas touch. Usual big name suspects Lookman, Osimhen and Iheanacho make the cut. But Sadiq Umar misses out. It looks like a lethal attack.

    In defence, the absence of a natural left fullback has drawn condemnation but right fullbacks (like Aina) have been known to function effectively on the left. Aina himself is absent but Awaziem or Osayi-Samuel can fill in his boots. In centre defence there’s likely to be a gamble in either the NPFL guy or the lad based in Tanzania. Still, Akpoguma or Torunariga were notable absentees. Still it looks a strong backline.

    In goal, that is very interesting. Uzoho, who actually returned to league action recently with healthy minutes under his belt, lost out to his one time number Two Maduka Okoye. Rwanda based John Noble loses out too. In Nwabili, Okoye and Ojo, the Super Eagles no longer has goalkeeping crisis.

    Good list.

  • Nice list the ommission of Ekong, Aina is down to injury.

  • James 3 weeks ago

    Good list if this is automatic
    Just the left back position atleast Olisah ndah
    Let’s get the wins 6 points will boost our chances
    Good luck guys…

  • That defense is absolute nonsense without a proper left-back back… Finito no nau… this is the weakest defense I have seen in a while. for 2matches atleast increase the numbers to 25, additional 2defenders wont be bad.

  • Daniel 3 weeks ago

    No good central defender, Apkoguma and Jordan should have invited

  • Not bad list. But…

    1. I want to believe Aina is injured.
    2. I hope we won’t have a problem with the defence line. Well I hope we don’t. I still expect a three man defence. I have always said a 352 formation is the way to go for the present set of midfielders that we have and the super eagles at the moment. Tanimu, ajayi and bassey.
    3. Gabriel Osho is absent. I am surprised. Very surprised. He should be here. No ekong, we should have used the opportunity to see Osho. What happened finidi. He is about one of the new faces I wanted to see. I hope tanimu can do well because I know finidi will start him in a back 3.
    4. But who will play on the left. Is the home based guy going to fill in here? I learned he is a right back. It’s dangerous to let him start games like this.

    5. Midfield is great. I hope onyeka is not match rusty.

    6. Attack. Chukuwueze again. I am surprised. I hope finidi will not start him. That guy needs to be kept our of the team for a year so he can learn good lesson. He is a waster if opportunities.

    7. I can understand iheanacho. He always try to deliver on the bug stage. I prefer him to chukuwueze

    8. Onuachu. Hmmm. Another waster if opportunities. Well he is doing well in turkey anyway. And I am not worried because he is not going to start.

    9. Desser missing. I am not surprised. He messed up during the friendlies. He wasted good chances. Left to me I would have preferred him to onuachu.

    Going forward I think we need to build personnel in the defense.

    Ekong is getting old. He may not be able to do what he did at afcon at the world cup.

    Semi Ajayi is also getting old.

    Finidi and nff should look at the central defence. Osho, Igor ogbu and tourinaya who also did well for gent last season should be considered. It’s bs pity we missed out the opportunity to bring them along again.

    I expect a 352 formation because I am so confident about our defence. My only problem is the left side. Maybe bassey will play there. And we have semi Ajayi, tanimu, and awaziem st the center. I am still not confident.

    If Oshimen is fully fit. He should be assisted by lookman upfront.

    Don’t play lookman on the wings. He won’t do well for us. Play him the way pesero played him as afcon and the way he plays at his club.

    I wish eagles the best.

    We should be able to kill these two countries

  • Kenneth 3 weeks ago

    I think our fans should be making inputs into the team 1st eleven now that Finidi has released his selected side.

    My suggestion…

    Keeper: Nwabili

    Defence: Ajayi, Bassey, Taminu and Osayi

    Midfield: Alhassan, Ndidi and Frank

    Forwards: Osimeh, Lookman and Tella.

    The remaining ones on the the bench as subs.

    • Chike Atunayama 3 weeks ago

      Nice list, Kenneth but i would rather Tella comes from the bench possibly in the 2nd half . And i also think Okoye, not Nwabali deserves no1 shirt.

    • agbo chimezie 3 weeks ago

      Alhasan that nearly killed us against South Africa

  • Even with this first eleven selection, @Kenenth looks like a coach. What those boys need is early goal to weaken the boys the boys of SA.

  • Kenneth 3 weeks ago

    Chike, put me in the know why you want Tella to be benched for 2nd half. It’s like you haven’t seen his game lately. Let me tell you, Tella is a player with ability to turn any game around. Go ask Boniface.

  • Ralphnolly 3 weeks ago

    #Chike, OKOYE my fart assss. Okoye kó, Okoya ni. Okoye is nothing but a fluke. Nwabali is good to and I’m yet to see why the Super Eagles Coach didn’t extend invite to Ojo. Or is he nursing injury???

  • Chima E Samuels 3 weeks ago

    The same people who insulted Lookman before he shut them up with the Europa stunning performance are the ones making a list for Eagles. Lol thank God you people are not the coach, some people have forgotten that Bassey plays better as left back before converting to CB yet they’re hoping for an injured Aina whose injury last cost us against CIV at afcon when he was unable to mark the Ivorien left winger due to injury.

    Benjamin Tanimu from Tanzania did very well the last time he played yet people are crying for rusty Ekong. Nigerians should rest Abeg the complains are too much, Finidi will do well judging by this list our duty is to wish him well and see his starting Eleven. Welcome back Fisayo!!!!

  • Golden Child 3 weeks ago

    I am not impressed. I thought he will be bold and make the required changes. What is onuachu and Awaziem doing on that list? It is the same midfield , is iwobi going to turn to prime de bruyne? The only attacking midfielder on that list is bashiru and going by last friendly , finidi does not fancy him. We know it will be the same midfield and if Ndidi ever gets injured and pulls out, it is curtains.

    Finidi appears to be prepping for a defensive formation at home when he should be going guns blazing at home.Interesting times ahead,best of luck because he will surely need it.

    • Kingsley 3 weeks ago

      Awaziem have an oga at the top at NFF that’s why he gets called all the time..Even when he plays in shit team, he will be called

  • Friday 3 weeks ago

    Must he ask Boni? The truth is that all the guys are good but Coach George Finidi should find away to assess them, like playing friendlies with some local side in cotedvoire to ascertain their current form. That’s all.

  • olakunle wasiu 3 weeks ago

    I have firm believe super eagles coach would see to Kenneth first 11 list and maybe a little adjustment. Whatever, Finidi must win the matches.

    • Sammy 3 weeks ago

      Oh! Okay na. It’s possible South Africans are there to watch their stadium. You guys had better prepared well. No easy win any longer.

  • That’s true. Kenneth 1st eleven is okay my only problem is frank oyenka who is having injuries. Why not owobi?

  • @Kenneth why am I not surprised? 3 defense minded midfielders to start when you have an Iwobi an Bashiru present… na wa ooo

    Gk-Nwanbali.(psychological edge over bafana)

    RCB- Tanimu CB- Ajayi LCB- Bassey

    DM- Ndidi CM- Onyeka AM- Iwobi

    Rw- Chukweze/Tella LW- Lookman

    FW- Iheanacho FW- Osimhen

    In a 3-5-2

    • Kenneth 3 weeks ago

      This is exactly what the discussion should be about. Frankly, my first 11 could be altered but it depends on the Super Eagles Coach. Let him go there, give us the boys to successfully execute the games.

  • Busayo Leke 3 weeks ago

    Kenneth, I will drop Lookman from your 1st 11. Ask me why. You see his recent exploit has putting him on the spot and trust Given Msimango of Kaizer Chiefs, Khuliso Mudau of Sundowns, and Siyabonga, I don’t even know where he plays to cage him. Finidi George needs to look for another option.

    • Hassan 3 weeks ago

      I can tell of Given Msimango becus I’m here and do see their league. He is doing very well but really, we are going to miss Moses Simon otherwise, nothing for the South African defence. Trust Tella to do the dirty job.

  • Kingsley 3 weeks ago

    Who be this Tanzanian based player again NFF? Have you watched the league that looks like a secondary school football?. Somebody in the NFF wants to use the profile he is an international to market him to Europe period..Guys take out time and watch Tanzanian league and see if it’s better that our 2nd division to merit using it to invite a player to super eagles.

  • Omo9ja 3 weeks ago

    Please oooooo, what is happening here? Dessers did not make the list? Is Finidi kidding himself or what? Really?

    Onuachu is a good player and I know his capacity but why Onuachu and Chukwueze instead of Dessers?

    What happened to Aina?

    Finidi have to explain why Dessers who is in form of his life did not make the list.

    Chukwueze is another wasted slot. Chukwueze has been struggling at the national team but currently, he should be focusing on his club side.

    I will consider Onuachu but Chukwueze no way. I love Chukwueze but I’m sorry he did not deserve this call when an inform Dessers who can play anywhere upfront did not make the list?

    I’m very angry with the exclusion of Dessers. Oshimen, Boniface, Dessers and Moffi are the best options we have currently but so sad that someone at the glass house in Abuja is blocking Dessers to play for Nigeria.

    But if God says yes Dessers will play for Nigeria who can deny that ba? Finidi should think about it. What else did he want from Kolawole.

    Finidi need to answer this question because we need the answer. Dessers and Aina, why those two players did not make the list? Over to you CSN. Good luck to Finidi and his troops. The pressure is on now. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Interesting.

    I still have my fears about the defence. It’s too lean. 6 defenders. What about if there’s an injury. And trusting Tanimu in the defense, is this a wise decision? Let’s wait and see. I pray there’s no injury in the first game to any defender.

  • Edoman 3 weeks ago

    Desser, Desser, that’s he knows. Always back a failure. When would you know that Desser is only good for friendly matches? Go watch your darling Desser match in Nigeria vs Mali friendly match and then you may see why no coach would ever want to use him for reality match.

  • Pls, let him pair Boniface and Osimhen if it is possible.
    Am only pissed off by the fact that Finidi didn’t pick Chiderah Ejuke.
    I think Nigerians should watch games and be able to know when a player is reformed or matured.
    We shouldn’t just judges players with old ratings bt with current
    Again, for the fact that Chukwueze even if he might have been out from his recent injury, is not yet match fit, Ejuke should have naturally replace him.
    He can also add more creativity in our attacking/midfield play.

  • Pls, let him pair Boniface and Osimhen if it is possible.
    Am only pissed off by the fact that Finidi didn’t pick Chiderah Ejuke.
    I think Nigerians should watch games and be able to know when a player is reformed or matured.
    We shouldn’t just judge players with old ratings bt with current
    Again, for the fact that Chukwueze even if he might have been out from his recent injury, is not yet match fit, Ejuke should have naturally replaced him.
    He can also add more creativity in our attacking/midfield play.

    • Ifeanyi I concur. In as much as I want to like this squad and support finidi I keep getting this nasty feeling about our chances with him especially with what happened at the friendlies and the unnecessary debate about the captain of the team until he can out to correct his errors.

      Now a list that looks good but lack some balance and sincerity.

      I hope he succeeds because we don’t want to miss another world cup.

      The funny aspect is that nobody is going to give us reasons why some things are not done the right way.

  • Larry 3 weeks ago

    I thought Finidi gave the assurance that players invitation would be based on current form. On current form, past performance with SE, and strength of league they play..
    Iheanacho did not play regularly for an EFL club but got picked! Besides, he was not considered in 80% of matches played by his club post-AFCON.
    Chukwueze was not listed in his club last match and has not really impressed with AC Milan and SE.
    Why invite Awaziem with abysmal performance ahead of an EPL regular Osho or top defender Ogbu
    Onuachu is not a Super Eagle material but keeps getting selected ahead of strikers with better performance for Super Eagles and the top 5 leagues
    Onuachu,Ajayi, Onyeka, Iheanacho, Awaziem, and Chukwueze have not really done enough to deserve their selection.
    You are inviting some players that missed their club matches due to injury (Onyeka, Chukwueze) but Aina
    with similar situation is not

    This is absolutely inconsistent!!

    • Tristan 3 weeks ago

      It is just like Nigerian politicians. They say what they think you want to hear, then they go ahead with doing business as usual!
      So far, in my view, Finidi has shown he lacks the courage to impose himself and the imagination to make appropriate plans.

  • Adebiyi olusoji 3 weeks ago

    Remember, osayi samuel is in the square.he also operates from that position also. Let us not bother ourselves for now. These sets of players will deliver.Ola Aina, Ekong, Omeruo ,Simon went for surgeries after the nation’s cup. So these players are just coming back to full fitness and it will not be good to risk them for now

  • Bobo Colorado Springs 3 weeks ago

    Good list, but my only worry is the defense.

    • Tony K 3 weeks ago

      Why is Ola Aina not invited? I don’t mind not inviting Emeruo or Troost Ekong, who may not have fully recovered from injury but the trajan horse, Anna played last Sunday for Nottingham Forest in the EPL. What’s going on?

  • Dr. Drey 3 weeks ago

    Like his boss Eguavoen, it seems Finidi needs to go to Europe to watch Nigeria’s best CB in European Competitions this season to know if he’s good enough for the SE.

    If he likes, he should assemble 25 npfl players….that’s his business. All we are saying, get us the 2026 WC ticket. We don’t want stories at the end of the day. We still have 24 points to play for.

    I don’t even want to start imagining the remotest probabilities of a player like osimhen not playing at the world cup in his career.

    • Dr. Drey. I wonder o. I only hope that lean defence will not cause any problem. Someone said Osho is average and I am surprised to read that. S player who played consistently in the EPL this season should be getting an invite especially when ekong is not around. And he was even invited in the last friendly.

      We need to go to aso Rock to protest the comtious non invitation of Igor ogbu. We need to.

      Instead a tanimu from Tanzania and the always underperforming awaziem are considered.

      The problem with eagles has not always been the attack but the defense in the past. Pesero understood this at afcon and began to use 343 to help the defense because we were always conceding cheap goals even when wes score goals.

      If we will qualify for the world cup and do well, we must do something drastically about our defence.

      I am happy we now two goal keepers who are doing well. We just need another quality keeper to make it three.

      In the midfield, we should start using ndidi more upfront instead of deep in the midfield. I am happy he is fit. We really missed him at afcon.

      All the best.

      • Dr. Drey 3 weeks ago

        My reference was not even to Osho (who I also think deserves a place in this SE), my reference is to Igho Ogbu.

        That dude marked out Romelu Lukaku over two legs in the Europa league…..plus many player of the week placings in the competition.

        Anyone who can prove himself at that level of football is PROVEN and should be in the SE.

        • Greenturf 3 weeks ago

          @Dr. Drey,probably Finidi wants to play with those used to playing together,particularly in the central defence perhaps,the short time they have to practice before these games,having the likes of Osho and Ogbu in the team for the first time can be overly risky;The gaffer wouldn’t want to take too much of a risk!My thought…

          • Greenhurf. But it’s not a sin to have them in camp for this game to make 8 defenders and 25 players except if there’s a reason for having only 23 players.

            The issue is that this people are not bold and courageous.

            They must have secretly pledged their allegiance with sim people to get the job.

            Finidi wants to use those home knows so this is the reason for bringing in an always underperforming awaziem, a match rusty Ajayi and an unknown Tanimu.

            Very soon we will know the selfish interest of finidi in Tanimu.

          • Greenturf 3 weeks ago

            @Christian ministries,for the fact these defenders have played well together especially the last friendlies and Afcon,the coach would rather stick with what’s proven than take a risk due to how important these games are to our qualifications.
            The defenders with better profile will have their time with the team in the future,if they continue to stay healthy and performing at a high level..

  • This is sure a decent squad list oozing with quality strike force with a consolidated middle in terms of personnel.

    There’s a groundswell of support for the trio of Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface and Ademola Lookman. It’s heartwarming to see in form Paul Onuachu an experienced Kelechi Iheanacho made the list as well as Nathan Tella but disappointed that Chidera Ejuke is overlooked again after many eye-catching performances for his team, particularly in the closing games of the league season.

    Coach Finidi George’s midfield list is clearly a marked improvement from the AFCON in terms of personnel and it would be inspiring to see imperial Onyinye Ndidi back in the Super Eagles set-up again his injury long injury layoff. The middle boasts of physically imposing DM with the likes of hard tackling Frank Onyeka and Raphael Onyedika and box-to-box midfielder Alhassan Yusuf. I hope Frank will be able to reproduce the form we saw of him at last AFCON, also it’s hope that Raphael Onyedika will be able to get an opportunity to proof his defensive midfield qualities as we saw at the last Eagles’ friendlies, where he showed strong midfield presence reminiscent of Sunday Oliseh, providing assist for goals.
    Super Eagles fans will hope to see Alex Iwobi exert himself more this time around after what seemed like a superficial performance at the last African nations cup in Cote d’Ivoire, although debatable. At the moment, Iwobi looks the only creative hub in the team who also likes to flex on the wings, his preferred position as many have argued.

    In the absence of defence Trojan, Troost Ekong, the captain of the side, and vastly experienced Kenneth Omeruno, the Super Eagles defence, centrally, looks short on quality but can still make do with the quality and versatility of Fulham strong man, Calvin Bassey. Chidozie Awaziem is an other experienced member of squad who had quality game time with the Portuguese side, Boavista in the just concluded season. He was one of the key players during the 2019 AFCON for Nigeria and the team will be counting on his experience during the June crucial games. It would be recalled that his performances fell short at the Super Eagles recent games, however for many who are familiar with the hard tackling defender, he’s fighter and he’ll surely prove doubters wrong, even in the absence of other key defenders. Semi Ajayi has been a regular feature in the Super Eagles and he has found game time hard to come by even with Championship side, West Bromwich Albion in the last couple of games preceding the just concluded season; in such key games against the fast paced South Africans, the 6’4 feet defender surely will need more than big figure but awareness and strong fitness to keep at bay. The duo of Ola Aina and Porto based defender will be greatly missed, but there’ll suitable replacement in Osayi-Samuel Bright.

    Based on the last AFCON displays, Nwabili sure will get the nod to man the post ahead of Udinese safe hands.

    Ultimately, it’s hope that George Findi will be a produce formation that’ll maximise the potential of the squad, and the tactical game plan that’ll overcome the oppositions.
    At this rate, Nigerians cannot afford another world cup miss!

    • Emecco 3 weeks ago

      Honestly, I don’t care if Tanimu plays like Terry, Vidic, Puyol or Nesta, The fact that he plays in the Tanzanian League should automatically disqualify him from playing for the SE. I wouldn’t have bothered if he had remained a Bendel Insurance player

      • Greenturf 3 weeks ago

        He won’t be in Tanzania long if he continues to take his chances…

  • Golden Child 3 weeks ago

    The problem is most fans are sensational and never analyse things deeply. There are a lot fans who are hailing the inclusion of MadukA, some are even calling for him to get the nod ahead of nwabali. In my opinion it will be a huge mistake. I have tried to study some of his matches in udinese colours and what I noticed is that he does not command his box well by coming out for crosses. This is an integral part of goal keeping because it relieves the pressure on the defense, allowing them to regroup.

    Some fans are even hailing Iwobi in the attacking midfield, I find it absurd. Don’t get me wrong , I like iwobi’s industry and on some days he could do a decent job in that position but attacking midfield is not his natural habitat. His uncle Jj okocha also alluded to this. It then begs the question, why do all these managers continue to shoe horn him into that position. Finidi had the opportunity at the last international window to try out new attacking midfielders but he refused and continues with iwobi . The SE handlers have a bad habit, we saw it with the gk department, where for years they kept telling us uzoho and okoye were the best the country had to offer until peseiro drafted in stanley. These things are not rocket science but sentiments and corruption always clouds their judgement.

    We have listed more or less the same midfield that struggled all through out the afcon and struggled particularly with SA but everyone is saying great midfield selection. I believe Finidi wanted to call olawoyin but there seems to be a cabal within the NFF technical committee that determine who plays. How will finid call tella and bashiru, players he never tested . I will bet you both will never get mins against SA, except if there is an injury. My take is that olawoyin is the closest thing to a 10 amongst the players available to Nigeria now. The boy can dribble in tight places, immense work rate, good passing range, not easily dispossessed, strength, decent pace and he has done quite well in his club with 8 goals from midfield. It appears Finidi does not want to offend players and administrators alike which suggest poor leadership traits. A good leader never goes against their convictions but rather get others to buy into their convictions. So far, I am not impressed at all.

    • Golden child. You provided some wisdom. Finidi is not really bold with his decisions. Thanks to pesero for the nwabali decision. Thanks to him for the change in tactics at afcon. Yes we may not like it but we would have been eliminated at the group stage at afcon. He took a bold decision with what he had on ground.

      I am not really really comfortable with this list. It’s not really balanced. It has awkward decisions in It. It has the hands of invisible and powerful people in it.

  • Larry 3 weeks ago

    How did Iheanacho who has only played 18mins of his club last 4 matches in EFL (division 2) get invited ahead of Awoniyi who has played more minutes scored more goals in tye EPL (top division) in less number of matches ?
    How did Onuachu get picked ahead of Dessers who has performed better this season in Europe and has better goal per match ratio playing for the national team ?
    Why does Awaziem who has continued to play below par for the national team get picked ahead of Osho or Ogbu with better performance in Europe ?
    Why Taminu when you have Ogbu ?
    If your reason for dropping Aribo was based on AFCON what about Iwobi, Iheanacho, Onyedika and Chukwueze with the same issue, adterall Iwobi and Onyedika justified with clubside games but Aribo has performed better than Iheanacho in the same league EFL.
    What is the reason for dropping Aina and inviting Onyeka and Chukwueze with similar situation, afterall Aina is a more vital member of the team.
    This is the major problem. with local coaches,they deceive themselves with words when their actions are mostly corruption inclined or based on favoritism.
    Finidi , practice what you preqch!!

  • Tristan 3 weeks ago

    My selection and formation (4 3 3)
    Defence: Bassey, Awaziem, Ajayi, Osayi-Samuel
    Midfield: Onyeka, Yusuf, Dele-Bashiru
    Attack: Lookman, Osimhen, Iwobi

    I’m playing Bassey as the left-back. I’m also taking a gamble on Dele-Bashiru because I want a proper midfielder in the attacking midfield role. I have no space for Ndidi except with Onyedika as a substitute for Onyeka. Yusuf is my ball winning midfielder.
    The formation can be dynamically turned mid-game to 3 4 3 by pushing Osayi-Samuel forward into midfield and 3 5 2 by pulling Iwobi back into midfield.
    Chukwueze and Tella are my substitutes on the wings but are not likely to see action until the 70th minute. Iheanacho is my substitute for Dele-Bashiru – if he doesn’t perform, then I’ll pull Iwobi into midfield.

    • Tristan 3 weeks ago

      I’m prepared to replace Awaziem with Tanimu. My wingers would be inverted allowing my full backs to overlap to provide width.

    • Tristan you’re funny o. No sensible coach will bench ndidi not with what we have in that midfield. We need to see ndidi in an advanced role in middle for super eagles. You funny sha

      • Tristan 3 weeks ago

        Ndidi is always injured when you need him. Of the Senior SE players he has the most absences from SE games. His loyalties were to Leicester when he was at the top of his career, now his career is declining he is patronising politicians!
        As to midfield, my belief is that the weakness came from deploying non-midfielders like Iwobi and Aribo into midfield roles. My formation uses Iwobi in the same role that he plays for Fulham, an inverted winger.
        Nigerians like putting square pegs in round holes just because of their names. So we will play with two DMs just because Onyeka must play and Ndidi must also play. Now they’re saying Ndidi is a No. 8, or we’re playing double pivot that the SE have not played before all to accomodate Ndidi.

  • agbo chimezie 3 weeks ago

    You want the coach to invite all Nigeria average players abroad because of the boys the boys of south Africa,shame to Nigeria,So Nigeria is panicking because of local based south Africa team God for bid,my candid advice invite players that can take on defenders like Ejuke,chukwueze,Musa when he was Musa and injured Simon Moses,only this players I mentioned feel penetrate the boys, but if you like play Boniface,Ndidi, Lookman and co will not penetrate the boys, even though Boniface and lookman are playing well against the big boys but they can’t penetrate stubborn south

  • So Nigerian league isn’t good enough to select defenders hence FINIDI’s invitation to a Tanzania league based defender?

    So Tanzania league player is better than a Europa league player?

    This is why we’re always against indigenous Coach handling super eagles.

    Why can’t we do this thing based on the quality of the league a player plays and how good the player is?

    See the type of defenders a coach is bringing to play against south Africa…..

    Don’t we have good defenders in npfl ???

    How did we get to the point of inviting players from Tanzania to the super eagles???

    My mind is telling me one day FINIDI will invite players playing in either TAHITI or SEYCHELLES to the super eagles. Just watch, I’ll remind you guys…..

    Can Cameroun, Ghana, CIV, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Senegal go this low in football to point of inviting a tanzanian based player to their national team?

    This is just shameful…..

    Tanzania fa?

    Next invitation will be from Namibia….

    Let nobody blame innocent PESEIRO at the end of the day o…. We still have 8 good matches to win this group….. 24 points to add to the already 2 points we picked earlier.

  • Ifeanyichukwu odogo 3 weeks ago

    Let not Findi make any mistake of starting Ajayi and Bassey together at Central defence, I don’t know why Aina is not in this list, these defence is a big gamble, to be honest in such an important match

  • Mindurbusiness Olaosenikan 3 weeks ago

    This is a good list.

    • Gen. JohnB (Field Marshal) 3 weeks ago

      Bro how far na? Ehn? how market I say?
      Today you are mindyourbizniss fa? nna are you sure you’re not suffering from bipolar? lool!

      • Arara Kumbie 3 weeks ago

        No mind am Fieldo Fieldo,
        Olaosenikan ko, Olasenikan ni. Yeye dey smell.

  • What about Samuel Kalu, he is a very intelligent winger instead of Chukweze who is just returning from injury

    • Somebody 3 weeks ago

      Samuel Kalu ko, Samuel Okwaraji ni. Which route u take enter here self?

  • Sunny 3 weeks ago

    It seems Xabi Alonso has ultimately relegated Victor Boniface to a bench player. This is difficult to take. He was on fire before his injury and suddenly he is no longer good enough. This is a cup final against a division 2 team, yet he prefers Schik to Boniface. Unbelievable!

  • Gen. JohnB (Field Marshal) 3 weeks ago

    Watching the champions league final between Barcelona and Lyon brings a frightening realisation of just how advanced women’s football has become – WOW! just wow! watching the level of footballing skills these girls displayed is absolutely frightening! On today’s showing, I am almost inclined to think that these girls will put many men’s teams to shame! All these jekuregbe men’s teams in Africa and even anywhere in the world who aren’t sharp and on their game will be put to shame by the Lyon or Barca women’s team that I saw today o – Is it Diani (striker extraordinaire), or Paralluelo or Caldentey or Putellas or midfield generals like Bonmatí or Dumornay, Walsh, Graham Hansen or is it defenders like Bronze, Rolfö, Renard or Carpenter, in fact any one of those girls playing today including the subs play their roles almost perfectly and are very skilful and athletic while at it too Kai! nna me I nor fit shout again o! Makes one really want to see our own Super Falcons be better coordinated because we definitely have talented girls in our team, but sometimes what they serve up makes it look as if there is an unbreachable casm in quality but in truth there isn’t and it’s just the efforts put in to coordinate their affairs that is sorely lacking – chaii! pipo na wa o!
    Congrats to Barca for dethroning the supreme Lyon Feminine!
    Forza Football!

    • Arara Kumbie 3 weeks ago

      Fieldo Fieldo . This your novel na wa o. Old soldier never die

  • Taiwo 3 weeks ago

    Where is Moses Simon on the list.

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