Rohr names NPFL trio in Nigeria’s provisional World Cup squad

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Photo: Fox
Photo: Fox

Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has listed three NPFL players Junior Lokosa, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye in a 30-man roster ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The 30-man provisional list was announced by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday with the country’s top division leading scorer Lokosa named among the seven forwards for the pre-World Cup camp billed to start on May 21 in Uyo.

Lokosa’s call-up comes on the back of his impressive outing in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season in which he has scored 18 goals in 20 appearances for Kano Pillars.

The goalkeeping pair of Ezenwa and Ajiboye have had spells with the Super Eagles and are considered on that ground with the former in contention for the number one position according to pundits.

Ezenwa and Ajiboye have had limited spells for Enyimba and Plateau United respectively this season due to their involvement in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco earlier this year.

Apart from the NPFL trio which includes Lokosa, who earns a first call, Rohr has also handed a first opportunity to Crotone FC forward Simeone Nwankwo ‘Simy.’

The striker has been in tip-top shape in recent weeks for Crotone leading to his scoring seven goals in the just-concluded Serie A campaign.

However there will be serious competition for places as Rohr has stuck with most of the playing personnel that took part in the World Cup qualification and recent international friendly matches.

As expected Mikel John Obi leads the list of the usual big-names that include Elderson Echiejile, Leon Balogun, Ogenyi Onaze, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses and Odion Ighalo.

Rohr will have to trim the 30-man roster to 23 ahead of the June 4 deadline for the final World Cup squad.

The 30-man roster

Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)

Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (UD Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy); Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Nwankwo Simeon (Crotone FC, Italy); Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars)

© The Predictor NG

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