The Super Eagles of Nigeria have declared war on the Flames by releasing an 18-member squad of foreign-based players to be joined by five locals.
SuperSport.com reported on Wednesday that the Eagles coach Stephen Keshi will choose the five locals from a squad of 24 players who were also invited for the September 7 World Cup qualifier.
Justifying the bloated squad, Keshi said the decision was informed by the need to “identify new players for the 2014 African Nations Championship (Chan).”
“We are calling up 24 home boys in order to be able to identify new players for the 2014 African Nations Championship for which we have already qualified,” Keshi is quoted as saying.
Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe, Benjamin Francis, Sunday Mba, Muhammad Gambo and Godfrey Oboabona were all included in the squad made public on Tuesday night.
After sitting out last week’s friendly win against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, assistant captain Vincent Enyeama returns.
Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echiejile, John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa and Brown Ideye were also called up for the encounter.
Trailing the Eagles by two points, Malawi travels to Nigeria on September 7 needing nothing but a win if they are to pull a stunner and sneak through to the final qualifying round of the World Cup qualifier.
Nigeria came to Malawi last year in the group’s first leg match that ended 1-1 with John CJ Banda snatching a last gasp leveller at Kamuzu Stadium. The Blue Eagles captain is likely to earn his place in the Nigeria-bound party.
The foreign-based players for Nigeria are:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); James Okwuosa (Chippa United, South Africa)
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Chelsea FC, England); Fegor Ogude (Valerenga FC, Norway); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (VVV-Venlo, Netherlands).