Nigeria’s German Head Coach Gernot Ruhr, 64 has named his provisional 30-man squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup taking place in Russia on June 14th. – Ruhr only has one loss to his name during his tenure with Nigeria.
Interestingly the squad is made up of 3 Nigerian Premier League players and uncapped Rotone striker Simeon Nwankwo.
Vincent Enyeama, 35. Who has been capped 101 times by Nigeria will miss out on the World Cup this year.
Vincent Enyeama will only return to the Super Eagles when he is fit (Reuters)
Nigeria could end up being the dark horse in this year’s World Cup. A 4-2 friendly victory against a strong Argentina side recently has given the Super Eagles an outsiders chance of progressing through the group of death alongside; Argentina, Iceland & Croatia
Nigeria offers a lot going forward and should definitely be considered the main strength of the side. Premier League trio Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa will all be going to the World Cup next month.
30-year old former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, 30. Offers a defensive luxury most national sides cannot be afforded.
Whilst the fun fact of the day is that Nigeria will have the youngest team in the 2018 World Cup. With a lot of youth typically comes excitement and that’s something Nigeria brings in abundance with strength, power and a lot of pace coming from the Super Eagles.
My verdict is that this year’s World Cup may be coming round a little bit too quickly for the African hopefuls. A further 4-years of development under consistent and quality coaching could make Nigeria a force to be reckoned in future years.
Top Talent Watch: Nigeria has plenty of youth about them. Iwobi and certainly Ihenacho have bright futures ahead of them and together they have formed brilliant chemistry for their country. Against the top teams, they may struggle but I expect that forward trio (including Musa) will be more than enough for Iceland and Croatia.
Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho are the new best friends in Super Eagles (Twitter)
Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa), Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United)
William Troost-Ekong and Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
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), Mikel Agu (Bursaspor, Turkey)
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 Lokosa (Kano Pillars); Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone, Italy).