Nigeria begin preparations for Afcon qualifier against Bafana and they mean business

11 May 2017 - 16:25 By Mark Gleeson
Nigeria's midfielder Victor Moses (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup African zone group B qualifying football match between Nigeria and Algeria at the Akwa Ibom State Stadium in Uyo on November 12, 2016.
Nigeria's midfielder Victor Moses (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup African zone group B qualifying football match between Nigeria and Algeria at the Akwa Ibom State Stadium in Uyo on November 12, 2016.
Image: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

Chelsea star Victor Moses is the most notable absentee in a 25-man Nigeria squad named for training camp and friendly match in France later this month as they prepare to take on South Africa in the opening game of the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers.

But Moses is likely being given time to rest after a grueling season‚ which only concludes on May 27 when he faces up to fellow Nigerian international Alex Iwobi in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

But Arsenal’s Iwobi has been named by Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr for a training camp that starts on May 24 on the Mediterranean island of Corsica‚ and also sees the Nigerians taking on the French island’s national team two days later. The camp will then move on to Paris.

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Iwobi only joins after the FA Cup final with Moses likely to link up with the squad a matter of days before Nigeria host Bafana at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on June 10.

Rohr did not pick Daniel Akpeyi of Chippa United among the goalkeepers even though he called him in March for friendly matches in Europe.

Also missing is former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel‚ along with two other players based in China - Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye.

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Nigeria’s squad boasts four local based players with the rest all hailing from clubs in Europe. Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Dele Alampasu (Cesarense‚ Portugal)‚ Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah)

Defenders: Uche Agbo (Granada‚ Spain)‚ Ola Aina (Chelsea‚ England)‚ Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto‚ Portugal)‚ Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05‚ Germany)‚ Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag‚ Netherlands)‚ Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Gijon‚ Spain)‚ Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta‚ Cyprus)‚ William Troost Ekong (KAA Ghent‚ Belgium)

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Midfielders: Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal‚ Portugal)‚ Oghenekaro Etebo (Feirense‚ Portugal)‚ Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United)‚ Alex Iwobi (Arsenal‚ England)‚ Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City‚ England)‚ John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva‚ Israel)

Strikers: Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City‚ England)‚ Olanrewaju Kayode (Austria Wien‚ Austria)‚ Ahmed Musa (Leicester City‚ England)‚ Stephen Odey‚ Sikiru Olatubosun (both MFM FC)‚ Victor Osimhen (VfL Wolfsburg‚ Germany)‚ Noah Serenren-Bazee (Hannover 96‚ Germany)‚ Moses Simon (KAA Ghent‚ Belgium)‚ Isaac Success (Watford‚ England)

 - TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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