Nigeria’S head coach, Stephen Keshi has finally came up with the names of players in his provisional squad for the 2014 World Cup scheduled to begin June 12 in Brazil.
Nigeria, which is the reigning African champion will be making its fifth appearance at football’s showpiece and have been drawn in the same group with Argentina, Iran and Bosnia.
Keshi kept faith with 18 of his squad that lifted the African Cup of Nations in 2013, while there is a surprise inclusion of Joel Obi and Uche Nwofor.
Odemwingie ended his feud with Keshi in April after the pair fell out after the striker’s omission from the Cup of Nations squad, but he has scored six goals in 14 Premier League appearances for Stoke City to put him back in the frame.
Also handed a recall is captain Joseph Yobo (33) who has not played for Nigeria since they won the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last year. Uche, the leading Nigerian scorer this season has scored 12 goals in the Spanish league and he is regarded as one of the Super Eagles most reliable strikers.
But in rejecting him, Keshi said he was not tactically disciplined. Uche has not played for Nigeria since featuring at the 2013 Africa Cup Nations which the country won in South Africa.
John Mikel Obi of Chelsea and Liverpool’s Victor Moses lead a cast of 19 returning players from the Nations Cup squad despite both struggling for first-team football, but Hull’s Sone Aluko is left out.
The three-time African champions will face Scotland in a friendly on 28 May at Craven Cottage, before they depart for their training camp in Houston, Texas.
They will also play friendly internationals against Greece and the United States in June as part of their warm-up for this year’s World Cup.
The West Africans will play Greece in Philadelphia on 3 June then face USA in Jacksonville, Florida on 7 June.
The deadline to name the final 23-man squad is 2 June.
Nigeria will face Argentina, Iran and Bosnia in Group F of this summer’s tournament in Brazil.
Here is the full Squad
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim, Daniel Akpeyi.
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile, Juwon Oshaniwa, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Joseph Yobo, Kunle Odunlami.
Midfielders: Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ramon Azeez, Ejike Uzoenyi, Sunday Mba, Reuben Gabriel, Nosa Igiebor, Joel Obi.
Strikers: Ahmed Musa, Shola Ameobi, Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, Obinna Nsofor, Osaze Odemwingie, Babatunde Michael, Michael Uchebo, Nnamdi Oduamadi, Nwofor Uche