Mikel back from the cold


Chelsea star recalled as provisional squad named for Belgium friendlies

Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel
Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel

Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh recalled English Premier League stars John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Odion Ighalo for upcoming friendlies against Cameroon and Congo.

Chelsea midfielder Mikel was dropped for last month’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Tanzania, while his team-mate Moses, currently on loan to West Ham, missed out through injury. Watford striker Ighalo was not considered but has since hit a streak of fine form for his club, while Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi was sidelined by a one-match suspension picked up against Chad in June, when he was sent off.


Nigeria face Congo on 8 October in Antwerp and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon three days later in Brussels as part of preparations for FIFA World Cup™ qualification.

The winners of the preliminary round between Swaziland and Djibouti will host the Super Eagles on 9 November in a World Cup first-round qualifier. Nigeria will host the return leg at home eight days later.

Nigeria squad from:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille/FRA), Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers/ENG), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars), Femi Thomas (Enyimba)

Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05/GER), Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira/POR), Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco/FRA), Chima Akas (Sharks FC), Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor/TUR), William Troost Ekong (FK Haugesund/NOR), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK/TUR), Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors)

Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio/ITA), Paul Onobi (Sunshine Stars), Obiora Nwankwo (Coimbra FC/POR), Mikel Obi (Chelsea/ENG), Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin/SLO)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Emmanuel Emenike (Al Ain/UAE), Sylvester Igbonu (FC UFA/RUS), Moses Simon (KAA Gent/BEL), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal/ENG), Victor Moses (West Ham United/ENG), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC/ENG), Prince Aggrey (Sunshine Stars)