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2022 World Cup playoff round: Eguavoen invites Ndidi, Osimhen in 32-man provisional squad to battle Ghana

Article by Pan-Africa Football contributor Emmanuel Chinedu in Enugu

Interim Nigeria head coach Augustine Eguavoen called up midfielder Wifred Ndidi as well as forwards Victor Osimhen and
Moses Simon to highlight his provisional list of 32 for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off round against the Black Stars of Ghana.

Eguavoen, who led the three-time African champions to a Round 16 of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, also called up goalkeepers Maduka Okoye and Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Odion Ighalo and Samuel Chukwueze.

Leicester City forward Ademola Lookman, recently cleared by FIFA to switch international allegiance, and former Under-17 starlet Akinkunmi Amoo are officially called for the first time while defender Calvin Bassey and Watford FC forward Emmanuel Dennis return to the team.

2021 AFCON forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Peter Olayinka, defender Chidozie Awaziem and long-time absentee Ogenyi Onazi are in a seven-man standby list.

The camp opens in Abuja on 21st March, with a 24–man final list for the two big games to be released at a later date.

Nigeria take on Ghana in the 20,000 capacity Cape Coast Sports Stadium on March 25th with the reverse leg set for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on March 29th.

The winner over two legs will secure one of Africa’s five tickets to the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals, scheduled for 14th November – 18th December this year in Qatar.

FULL 32-man provisional Squad :

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)

Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England); Akinkunmi Amoo (FC Copenhagen, Denmark)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Hilal FC, Saudi Arabia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England); Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England)

Standby: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Praha, Czech Republic); Ogenyi Onazi (Al-Adalah FC, Saudi Arabia)

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