Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has made the bold decision to reward two players with places in his latest selection after their display’s in Nigeria’s “B” team.
Attacker Gabriel Okechukwu and defender Stephen Eze starred in the Super Eagles’ run to the final of the African Nations Championship at the start of the year.
With less than 100 days until the finals in Russia, Rohr will be keeping an eye on the fortunes of all the 28-players selected for the friendlies against Poland and Siberia.
The Super Eagles will travel to Poland for the first friendly on March the 23rd, before facing Serbia on the 27th, in London.
Alongside the two new faces, Joel Obi returns to the fold as he looks to build on the 15 caps he has garnered over the last seven years.
He was named in the preliminary squad for the last World Cup but will hope to go one better and be named in the final 23-man squad come June.
Despite the rumours circling around Vincent Enyeama, Nigeria’s most-capped player, coming out of international retirement, the French based ‘keeper is seemingly sticking to the decision he made in 2015.
However, the door remains open for the Lille shotstopper.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba, Nigeria); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino, Italy)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, England); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United, Nigeria)