by Tunde Ogunmola
International stars, John Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo, Victor Moses and Leon Balogun have all been recalled to the Super Eagles of Nigeria squad to face Cameroon in a two-legged 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series.
There are also first-time call ups for Hapoel Be’er Sheva striker Anthony Nwakaeme and Hull City’s Ola Aina in the 23-man squad released on late Tuesday night.
Interestingly, the captain of the team, Mikel and forward Ighalo are yet to play for Nigeria since they moved to China early this year. Moses was named in the last squad, but withdrew due to injury as he underwent toe surgery and Balogun was also missing as well, as a result of an injury.
In their absence, a young Nigeria side were beaten at home by South Africa.
The rest of the squad is largely populated by Rohr regulars, and sees a return for goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, who took the brunt of the criticism for that loss in June. Other regulars include William Troost-Ekong, Abdullahi Shehu, Ogenyi Onazi, and the Leicester City trio of Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and Ahmed Musa.
Seven other players have been placed on standby, but any of them would be contacted to move to camp only in case there is any issue with any player on the list of 23.
Group leaders Nigeria, play African champions Cameroon at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Friday, September 1, before flying to Yaounde for the return fixture on Monday, September 4.
The Super Eagles are top of Africa’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group B with six points, after winning Zambia and Algeria in their first two matches, while the Lions lie second with only two points following 1-1 draws with Algeria and Zambia.
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Dele Alampasu (Cesarense FC, Portugal)
Defenders: William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Elderson Echiejile (Sivasspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); Ola 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: Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Henry Onyekuru (Anderlecht FC, Belgium); Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea FC, England); Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United); Stephen Eze (FC IfeanyiUbah); Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United)