Tuesday, May 6, 2014 7:41 pm
Stoke City striker Osaze Odemwingie is among a 30-man provisional list for the Nigerian squad to the 2014 World Cup released today, with Ike Uche, Brown Ideye and defender Leon Balogun among the notable absentees.
Odemwingie has not featured for the Super Eagles since the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at Rwanda in February 2012, having fallen out with national team coach Stephen Keshi afterwards.
Odemwingie has since apologised to Keshi and the Nigeria Football Federation, a move which, along with his form since joining Stoke in January, has led to him returning to the national team set up.
Ike Uche however was left out, with Keshi recently commenting that the Villarreal striker does not fit into the way his team plays. Also left out is striker Brown Ideye, who received widespread criticism for his performances with the Super Eagles in recent times.
Fortuna Dusserdolf’s Leon Balogun also misses out due to his lingering injury, picked up during Nigeria’s goalless draw with Mexico in a friendly match back in March.
The list meanwhile also includes five home-based players as well as veteran defender Joseph Yobo, who makes a return to the Super Eagles having last featured in the Africa Cup of Nations final match against Burkina Faso in February 2013.
The provisional list comes three weeks before the friendly match between the Super Eagles and Scotland in London, a match which will most likely help Nigeria coach Keshi decide the players that would make his final 23-man list.
Nigeria will play in Group F at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil alongside Cup favourites Argentina, debutantes Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran.
30-man Provisional List
Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim, Daniel Akpeyi
Elderson Echiejile, Juwon Oshaniwa, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Joseph Yobo, Kunle Odunlami
John Mikel Obi, Joel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ramon Azeez, Ejike Uzoenyi, Sunday Mba, Nosa Igiebor, Gabriel Reuben, Michael Uchebo
Shola Ameobi, Osaze Odemwingie, Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Moses, Michael Babatunde, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Ahmed Musa, Uche Nwofor, Victor Nsofor