- Coach José Santos Peseiro has unveiled his star-studded squad as Nigeria prepares for a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone. The much-anticipated match is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 18 June, at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia.
Leading the charge for the Super Eagles is none other than captain Ahmed Musa. Joining him on the roster are renowned talents such as Salernitana defender William Troost-Ekong, Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi, and Nantes forward Moses Simon.
However, it is Nantes' in-form striker, Victor Osimhen, who finds himself in the spotlight. Osimhen's exceptional form this season, highlighted by an impressive tally of 31 goals across various competitions, has been instrumental in SSC Napoli's journey to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League and their triumphant Serie A title win after a 30-year wait.
In the absence of the suspended Francis Uzoho, Peseiro has chosen Israel-based goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleye, alongside home-based goaltenders Victor Sochima and Olorunleke Ojo, to guard the Nigerian goal. The squad also features two other Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) players, with Rivers United defender Ebube Duru and Bendel Insurance FC midfielder Divine Nwachukwu earning their spots.
The defensive line boasts a formidable presence with Kenneth Omeruo, Zaidu Sanusi, Calvin Bassey, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, and Bright Osayi-Samuel. The midfield is bolstered by the inclusion of Wilfred Ndidi and Frank Onyeka, while the attacking force is further strengthened by Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi, and Kelechi Iheanacho.
Sitting comfortably atop their qualification group with nine points from four matches, the Super Eagles are determined to secure their place in the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations. Guinea Bissau's Wild Dogs are nipping at their heels with seven points, while Sierra Leone's Leone Stars, who previously suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Super Eagles in Abuja, are eager to avenge their loss and amass more points. Struggling at the bottom of the group is Sao Tome and Principe, who will face the Super Eagles on the final day of the series in September.
With a victory over Sierra Leone, Nigeria will seal their spot at the Ivory Coast 2023 tournament, further solidifying their reputation as a force to be reckoned with in African football. The stage is set for an enthralling encounter as these two West African nations go head-to-head in pursuit of AFCON glory.
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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)