…….Squad departs for camp in Australia
Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses are the big names in Nigeria’s final 23-man squad for the World Cup, with John Obi Mikel as captain.
Iwobi, Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho offer coach Gernot Rohr a variety of options up front, while the 2-meter (6-foot-6) striker Simeon Nwankwo is included after earning his first cap Monday against Congo.
Left-back Bryan Idowu, who was born and raised in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, could play in his home city when Nigeria takes on Argentina in Group D, after Nigeria revealed its final squad on Twitter on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa is the only squad member who plays for a Nigerian club after fellow ‘keeper Dele Ajiboye and the Nigerian league’s top scorer Junior Lokosa were both cut from the provisional squad.
Nigeria travelled Sunday to a training camp in Austria after its 2-1 friendly loss to England in London on Saturday. The Nigerians’ final World Cup warmup is against the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
Nigeria starts its sixth World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16 in Kaliningrad before taking on Iceland in Volgograd on June 22 and then Argentina in St. Petersburg on June 26.
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United).
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Tyronne Ebuehi (Den Haag), Elderson Echiejile (Brugge), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), William Ekong (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Brighton), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa).
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin TEDA), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Joel Obi (Torino).
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone).