Super Eagles coach, José Santos Peseiro has invited notable players such as Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, captain Ahmed Musa, defender William Ekong, midfielders Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi for next weekend’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in Monrovia, Liberia.
Man of the moment, Osimhen, whose 31 goals in all competitions for SSC Napoli this season helped the Italian giants to clinch their first Serie A title in 33 years and the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, tops the strikers’ list. La Liga Best African Player for the 2022/2023 season, Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze was also invited to add depth in the forward line.
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 Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho also in the 23-man roster. Home-based goalkeepers Victor Sochima and Olorunleke Ojo also made the list, as well as Rivers United defender Ebube Duru and Bendel Insurance FC midfielder Divine Nwachukwu.
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 stunned Peseiro’s team 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, sit at the bottom of the table with only one point.
Nigeria and Sierra Leone will clash at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia on Sunday, 18 June because Sierra Leone does not have any stadium in their country approved for international matches.
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)