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NIGERIA VS ZAMBIA: Mikel, Ighalo, Moses, Balogun In; Akpeyi, Iwobi Return; Omeruo Out

NIGERIA VS ZAMBIA: Mikel, Ighalo, Moses, Balogun In; Akpeyi, Iwobi Return; Omeruo Out

By James Agberebi:

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi, Chelsea wing-back Victor Moses and Odion Ighalo head a 23-man squad invited by Gernot Rohr for the crucial FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia qualifier against Chipolopolo of Zambia in Uyo on October 7.

The 23-man squad was officially announced on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) website on Tuesday.

The duo of Alex Iwobi and Daniel Akpeyi make a return to the team after injury knocked them out of the double header against Cameroon.

Other players who made the cut are Ogenyi Onazi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Ola Aina, Elderson Echiejile, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and Wilfred Ndidi.

Also called up are John Ogu, Anthony Nwakaeme, Oghenekaro Etebo, Mikel Agu,  Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa and Uche Agbo.

Meanwhile, five players are placed on standby. The players are Tyronne Ebuehi, Dele Alampasu, Aaron Samuel and WAFU Cup and Akwa United stars Afeez Aremu and Ifeanyi Ifeanyi.

There is no room in the squad for Kasimpasa defender Kenneth Omeruo.

All invited players are expected to report in Uyo on Monday, 2nd October 2017.

The Super Eagles top Group A on 10 points after four rounds of games, while Zambia are second on seven points.

The group’s other game will see Cameroon (three points) and Algeria (one point) who have already been eliminated from qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, square off in Yaounde.



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).

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  • Good list but our left back is still suspicious.echiejile is not going forward.

  • Tgrace 4 years ago

    My starting XI, if your is different reply!


    Ikechukwu Ezenwa


    A. Shehu W. Ekong L. Balogun Ola Aina

    Obi Mikel

    Ogenyi Onazi Wilfred Ndidi


    Moses Simon Victor Moses

    Odion Ighalo

    • Richie 4 years ago

      Ola Aina shouldn’t come in now. He can be drafted in for the final Algeria game, after we must have qualified though. Zambia would be physical, we need tested and trusted hands. Just my 50kobo bro

  • What is Musa doing in that team… What will he contribute he has been warming the bench in Leicester has not played a single game and cannot even make thier Match day quad in the Premiel League match day..Henry Onyekuru is playing very well in Belgium Surely vhe should have been called up ahead of Musa on form..Is this Coach Rohr serious!!!!!!

  • charles emeka okwu 4 years ago

    Fielding aina maybe to sudden for him. I guess rohr will stick with elderson against zambia. Aina can make his debut against algeria when the presure wont be much judging that we may have qualified by then. The nff and rohr should reach out to hertha berlin’s jordan torunarigha and wolfburg’s felix udokhai to solve the team’s leftback problem.

  • Nnamdi 4 years ago

    I agree with you, Edenson Echiegile should complete Super Eagles Super-stating 11 vs Zambia

  • Ebuka Patrick 4 years ago

    Please please please, Daniel Akpeyi aka, AKPAGOAL, should not even cross the stadium let alone, coming near the pitch.

  • Jimmy Chibuoke 4 years ago

    Ezenwa should be left alone to man the goal posts.

  • Godswill 4 years ago

    coach Rhor please don’t ever try to start Akpeyi Oh. We’re ok with Ezenwa

  • musonda 4 years ago

    This time you will be shocked not the way bafana bafana beaten you in uyo but this time the fans will protest you are too too confident even your presenters on NIJA super sport are underrating Zambia. We have a new team now just wait those big names are nothing.remember you were confident that you have gotten WAFI CUP but you were humiliated by Ghana and better you change enzenwa bring back Vincent enyama for me he is still the best goalkeeper in Africa maybe again because of that injury anyway we are coming for you

    • Tgrace 4 years ago

      keep on ranting

    • charles emeka okwu 4 years ago

      Keep on giving yourself hope. Undermine the super eagles at your own peril. For christ sake why all the noise about zambia? Because they defeated a disgruntled and dispirited algerian team thats why they feel like the best soccer team in the whole wide world? You could do shit when we game visiting and there you are bragging about how oir ass is gonna get wooped in uyo. Well my greatest joy is super eagles players are seasoned professionals who will not be fazed by the antics of your team. I pray our key players remain injury free after this weekend’s games so they wont be a hidding place for ur zesco untd and russian 2nd division players come august 7th.

  • Tgrace 4 years ago

    Ighalo told BBC Sport how happy he was to be called up again and that it was an honour to play for his country.

    “We know Zambia is a strong team and they will come with full determination in Uyo, we cannot not engage in irrelevant pre-match talking but deliver on the pitch. I’ve never played at the World Cup and like my other colleagues, we all want to be in Russia. This is like a final, he said
    Zambia in trouble

  • Henry 4 years ago

    Ezenwa too wasn’t that impressive in the wafu cup final against Ghana.Think we still need Vincent enyeama