Johannesburg – Nigeria did not name any big surprises in their 30-man provisional squad for the Fifa World Cup in Russia, starting next month, with John Mikel Obi set to skipper the side.
The squad is dominated by foreign-based players with only three plying their trade locally including Junior Lokosa who has scored 18 goals in 21 matches for Kano Pillars this season in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Other local-based players are goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye who both featured recently at the African Nations Championship (Chan) in Morocco.
Another addition is Italy-based uncapped Simeon ‘Simy’ Nwankwo, who has been impressive for Crotone this season
The Super Eagles are drawn in Group D along with Croatia, Iceland and Argentina at the World Cup and will begin preparation for their sixth appearance at the event with a farewell home match on May 28 in Port-Harcourt against Democratic Republic of Congo. Thereafter the Super Eagles will come up against England at Wembley Stadium on June 2 and sign off against Czech Republic on June 6 in Austria.
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo de La Coruna, Spain), Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)
Defenders: William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor, Turkey), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05, Germany), Olaoluwa Aina (Chelsea, England), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes, France), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey), Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge, Belgium), Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands), Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin Teda, China), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey) John Ogu (Hapoel Beer Sheva, Israel), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas, Spain), Joel Obi (Torino, Italy), Mikel Agu (Bursaspor, Turkey)
Forwards: Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Victor Moses (Chelsea, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Moses Simon (Gent, Belgium), Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone, Italy).