Nigeria unveil 30-man Provisional squad – Obi Mikel, Yakubu and Kanu earn call-ups

11th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

Lars Lagerback, former Sweden manager for almost nine years, has played his first real part in Nigeria‘s World Cup adventure by naming a 30-man provisional squad ahead of pre-World Cup training. The Swede has been at the Nigeria helm for just three months after Amodu Shaibu was sacked after a poor showing at the African Cup of Nations at the beginning of the year.

Veteran Portsmouth striker Nwankwo Kanu was the genuine surprise inclusion at 33 years-of-age, while his team-mate John Utaka will join him in the 30-man Nigeria squad ahead of the finals in South Africa. Everton’s Nigerian pairing of Victor Anichebe and Yakubu were two of the more obvious selections, while Lagerback will even have a Premier League winners in his midst in the form of Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel. The latter, though, is currently injured although is expected to be fit a good week or so before the finals kick-off.

In fairness, looking through some of Lagerback’s selections, it’s a very talented squad. Up front they have players with some formidable pace in John Utaka, Victor Obinna (Malaga), Chinedu Obasi (Hoffenheim) and Ikechukwu Uche (Real Zaragoza), while Yakubu‘s strength, both in the air and in holding up the ball, will compliment Nigeria’s lightening quick forward options.

Fulham’s Dickson Etuhu and John Obi Mikel are two rock-solid players in an otherwise unknown Nigerian Midfield, while their defence screams strength in abundance with the likes of Joseph Yobo (Nigeria Captain/Everton), Taye Taiwo (Marseille) and Danny Shittu (Bolton).

Lars Lagerback has some talented players at his disposal, although the Swede will need to trim his squad down to just 23 before the finals where they will take on the formidable Argentina on just the second day of the tournament on 12th June before games with South Korea and Greece in a favourable Group B for the Nigerians.


Nigeria 30-man Provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama, Dele Ayenugba, Bassey Akpan, Austine Ejide

Defenders: Taye Taiwo, Elderson Echiejile, Chidi Odiah, Onyekachi Apam, Joseph Yobo, Daniel Shittu, Ayodele Adeleye, Rabiu Afolabi, Peter Suswan

Midfielders: Kalu Uche, Dickson Etuhu, John Obi Mikel, Sani Kaita, Lukman Haruna, Ayila Yussuf, Peter Osaze

Forwards: Yakubu Ayegbeni, Victor Anichebe, Chinedu Obasi, Nwankwo Kanu, Obafemi Martins, Ideye Brown, Ikechukwu Uche, John Utaka, Peter Utaka, Victor Obinna

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