By Albert Akota
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has unveiled his 23-man list for the friendly match against five-time world champions, Brazil, the match is to be played in Singapore on October 13.
While the substantive captain of the national team, Ahmed Musa, is out injured, Rohr has opted to leave out some other high-profile names from his latest roster.
Despite ending his 28-match goal drought a few days ago, Leicester of England’s Kelechi Iheanacho has been left out, same as Leon Balogun and Bryan Idowu who were both invited for the last friendly against Ukraine.
Conversely, the Super Eagles coach has picked in-form Granada of Spain midfielder Ramon Azeez, who scored against Barcelona, as well as Czech –based forward Peter Olayinka, who was one of the goal scorers in the matchday 1 of the UEFA Champions’ League group phase
Also, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Abdullahi Shehu and Chidozie Awaziem have returned from injury. Beyond that, the squad is largely unchanged from the side that was forced to a 2-2 draw by Ukraine in Dnipro on September 10.
Goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and Maduka Okoye also retained their places.
England –based midfielder Wilfred Ndidi also returns after missing the Ukraine encounter with an injury. Alex Iwobi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Scotland –based Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, who scored on his debut against Ukraine, are all back in midfield, with Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu and Emmanuel Dennis all back in the frontline.
A few days back, the Brazilian Football Confederation also named a strong and star-studded squad that will face the Super Eagles.
Brazil coach, Tite, invited all of his best players except for the injured Liverpool FC goalkeeper, Alisson Becker, who has been out since the first game of the Premier League season.
A total of 22 players have been invited with the inclusion of Paris-Saint-Germain star player Neymar and former Barcelona defender Dani Alves.
The Samba Boys are hoping to get in shape for the South American 2022 World Cup qualifiers while the Eagles will be using the friendly as a build-up for the preparation for the 2021 AFCON qualifiers.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Emil Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)
Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Anderson Esiti (PAOK Salonica, Greece); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)
Forwards: Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic)