Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr, has picked in-form Granada of Spain midfielder Ramon Azeez and Czech –based forward Peter Olayinka in Nigeria’s 23-man squad for the prestige friendly with five –time world champions Brazil in Singapore on Sunday, 13th October.
Rohr also have defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Abdullahi Shehu and Chidozie Awaziem back from injury, otherwise the squad is largely unchanged from the side that was forced to a 2-2 draw by Ukraine in Dnipro on 10th September.
Goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Maduka Okoye are retained, but England –based Leon Balogun and Russia –based Bryan Idowu are left out of the defence equation.
Former U20 team captain Ramon Azeez is called just as Leicester of England’s Kelechi Iheanacho is left out, while Girondins Bordeaux’s Joshua Maja will sit this one out, his place taken by another new boy, Peter Olayinka.
England –based midfielder Wilfred Ndidi also returns after missing the Ukraine encounter with injury. Alex Iwobi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Scotland –based Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, who scored on his debut against Ukraine, are all back in midfield, with Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu and Emmanuel Dennis all back in the frontline.
Substantive captain Ahmed Musa is still down with injury.
All invited players are expected to arrive in Singapore on Wednesday, 9th October.
Nigeria and Brazil will tango in a much –anticipated encounter at the Singapore National Stadium, Kallang, Singapore on Sunday, 13th October, 23 years after Nigeria, on their way to winning Africa’s first Olympic football gold, spanked the Selecao in the semi finals at the Athens Stadium in the State of Georgia, USA.
Efforts to match the two teams in a friendly match after that spectacular game came to nought for several years, until the organizers of the 8th All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 2003 flew the Brazilians to Abuja in June of that year. Brazil won 3-0.
23 EAGLES TO BATTLE BRAZIL
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Emil Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England)
Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Anderson Esiti (PAOK Salonica, Greece); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)
Forwards: Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic)