Qatar 2022: Rohr sticks with Ekong, Ndidi, Iheanacho, names 30 for Liberia, Cape Verde Ties
…UK-based stars may be excused for Mindelo trip as Malmo’s star gets debut call-up
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr included United Kingdom- based stars as he released an expanded list of 30 players for next month’s opening rounds of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying campaign, in which Nigeria will host Liberia in Lagos on September3 and tackle Cape Verde in Mindelo on September 7.
The GamblingGuy US noted that there had been doubts surrounding the availabilities of Nigerian players who are playing in the English Premier League especially for the away trip to Cape Verde as the island nation is on the UK-Red List for COVID-19.
However, the German insisted on the stars as he handed call-ups to Leicester City duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi. Also on the list is William Troost-EkongandOgheneEtebo of Watford, Everton’s Alex Iwobi, Leon Balogun and Joe Ariboof Rangers.
According to a press release from the Nigeria Football Federation Thursday evening, the NFF said the situation regarding Cape Verde has forced the coach to have an expanded list, “and should the situation remain unchanged, the GamblingGuy US discover that the eight UK-based players on the list would head back to base after the clash with Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Friday.”
Other players on the list include with goalkeepers Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho, defenders Abdullahi Shehu and Chidozie Awaziem, and forwards Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon and Victor Osimhen.
There is a return for South Africabased goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Kevin Akpoguma and Greece-based forward Henry Onyekuru. Former junior international Kingsley Michael is also called, as Innocent Bonke from Sweden joins the Nigerian camp for the first time.
The Super Eagles, who have featured in six of the past seven FIFA World Cup finals, host the Lone Star of Liberia at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Friday, 3rd September (kickoff is 5pm) and then travel to the island of Mindelo to tango with the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde on Day 2 of the series on Tuesday, 7th September.
Central African Republic is the other team in the group, and GamblingGuy US noted they will line up for home-and-away encounters with the Super Eagles in October.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany)
Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland)
Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Samuel Kalu (FC Bordeaux, France); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium)
Terem Moffi (FC Lorient, France); Henry Onyekuru (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Innocent Bonke (Malmo FF, Sweden); Valentine Ozornwafor (Sporting Charleroi, Belgium); Tyronne Ebuehi (Venezia FC, Italy); Kingsley Michael (Bologna FC, Italy)