No Osimhen, no Iwobi in Nigeria squad for friendly against World Cup-bound Costa Rica

Napoli forward Victor Osimhen and Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi have been snubbed for Nigeria’s international friendly against Costa Rica.

  • Only Nigeria Professional Football League players named
  • Kayode Bankole and Dominion Ohaka headline the squad
  • Portugal friendly also upcoming for Super Eagles

WHAT HAPPENED? Costa Rica will host the West Africans in San Jose on November 10.

The players summoned have been training at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan for the past week.

There is no place for Iwobi, who has been a good midfield performer for Everton, as well as Osimhen.

The Napoli star missed Nigeria’s previous friendly against Algeria and was expected to be involved in the upcoming assignments. He has, however, been snubbed despite having hit the ground running since his return from injury.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The squad has been named by coach Salisu Yusuf a day after the Nigeria Football Federation cleared the air over rumours that head coach Jose Peseiro has not been paid his wages.

The federation added that the former Al Ahly coach has already submitted a list of the players he intends to use against Portugal in the November 17 friendly.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Bankole, utility player Ohaka, and midfielder Afeez Nosiru headline Yusuf’s squad.

The NPFL-dominated squad also has Nathaniel Nwosu, Daniel Bameyi, Samuel Kalu, Chidiebere Nwobodo, Mustapha Jibrin, and Evans Ogbonda,

Others in the 18-man squad are Samson Paul, Daniel Wotlai, Ezekiel Edidiong, Qudus Akanni, Shina Akinniran, Sunday Faleye, Jerry Alex, Isaiah Ejeh, and Suleiman Garba.

Although prominent Super Eagles have been snubbed for the Costa Rica meeting, they are expected to feature prominently when Peseiro names the team to face Portugal.

Calvin Bassey, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Joe Aribo, Frank Onyeka, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Ademola Lookman, Emmanuel Dennis, Paul Onuachu, Terem Moffi, and Kelechi Iheanacho are among the stars that are expected to make up the bulk of the squad that will be assigned the Selecao test.

The friendlies against Costa Rica and Portugal are expected to sharpen the former African champions – who will not be at the 2022 World Cup finals – ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next year.

WHAT NEXT FOR NIGERIA? After a loss to Algeria in September, the team is under considerable pressure to beat the Central Americans. A win over Portugal will also help boost their morale before the Afcon qualifiers resume.

Which African team will go furthest in the World Cup?

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