Unlike what obtained in recent past, Super Eagles coach Coach José Santos Peseiro has invited up to four home-based players ahead of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in Monrovia.
They are two goal keepers – Victor Sochima (Rivers United) and Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC), then a defender Chidiebube Duru with Rivers United as well as a midfielder Divine Nwachukwu who plays for Bendel Insurance of Benin.
The Portuguese tactician also invited the usual guys – captain Ahmed Musa, defender William Ekong, midfielder Alex Iwobi and forward Moses Simon among others for next weekend’s clash.
In-form forward Victor James Osimhen, whose 31 goals in all competitions for SSC Napoli this season helped the Italian giants to the semi finals of the UEFA Champions League and to their first Italian Serie A title in 33 years, tops the strikers’ list.
Osimhen has also recently been honoured with the National Award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) by the Government of Nigeria, and has received a special ball and jersey from world football-ruling body, FIFA for his magnificent season.
Defenders William Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Zaidu Sanusi, Calvin Bassey, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Bright Osayi-Samuel are in, with midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Frank Onyeka, and forwards Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho also in the 23-man roster.
The Super Eagles are top of their qualification group with nine points out of four matches, followed by Guinea Bissau’s Wild Dogs who have seven points. Leone Stars, who gave the Eagles a tough run in Abuja on Day 1 of the qualification series before succumbing 2-1, are on five points.
Sao Tome and Principe, who play the Super Eagles on the final day of the series in September, are bottom with only one point.
Nigeria and Sierra Leone clash at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia on Sunday, 18 June, as Sierra Leone do not have any stadium in their country approved for international matches.
ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:
Goalkeepers: Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel); Victor Sochima (Rivers United); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Calvin Bassey (Ajax FC, The Netherlands); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Chidiebube Duru (Rivers United); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey)
Midfielders: Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Divine Nwachukwu (Bendel Insurance); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)
Forwards: Moses Simon (Nantes FC, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor K, Turkey)