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WORLD CUP 2018

Nigeria announce 30-man provisional World Cup squad

John Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses are some of the players that made the shortlist.
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Nigeria announce 30-man provisional World Cup squad
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI AFP

Nigeria’s manager, Gernot Rohr, has released his 30-man provisional shortlist for the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Regulars such as Jon Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi, Victor Moses, Kelechi Iheanacho and William Troost-Ekong made the cut.

The Super Eagles are drawn in Group D and are to play against Iceland, Croatia and Argentina.

Surprises

Three main surprises are involved on the list released on Monday: the inclusion of Junior Lokosa and Simeon Nwankwo, and the exclusion of veteran goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

Lokosa, forward for Nigerian Premier League side Kano Pillars, has enjoyed a great season scoring 18 goals in 20 matches, while the 26-year-old Nwankwo, attacker for Serie A’s Crotone, will get his maiden international call-up due to his fine form in the Italian top flight, scoring six goals in seven matches.

Continuous calls positioned the 35-year-old Lille’s goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, in the shortlist for the World Cup, however, Rohr, arguing that he is more interested in building for the future than retracting his footsteps, decided to omit him.

Other omissions include Brown Ideye, Dele Alampasu, Anthony Nwakaeme, Henry Onyekuru, Victor Osimhen and Kayode Olanrewaju.

The 30-man list

GOALKEEPERS: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United), Francis Uzoho, (Deportivo de La Coruna) and Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United).

DEFENDERS: William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05), Olaoluwa Aina (Chelsea), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge), Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag) and Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv).

MIDFIELDERS: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), John Ogu (Hapoel Beer Sheva), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), Uche Agbo (Standard Liege), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), Joel Obi (Torino) and Mikel Agu (Bursaspor).

FORWARDS: Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Moses Simon (Gent), Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars) and Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone).