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Gernot Rohr: Nigeria coach unhappy at fixture schedule

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says November’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers fixture schedule facing his side is “not ideal and proper” as he announced a 23-man squad.

The Super Eagles open their Group L campaign against neighbours Benin at home on 13 November before travelling to face Lesotho four days later.

“Our players from Europe will only get to us a day or two before the first game, so there is no time for adaptation to the African conditions,” Rohr said.

“After that game on Thursday we travel to Lesotho away on Friday to play on an artificial surface on Sunday. This is not ideal and proper for any team.

“We’ve spoken to Caf about this but nothing has been done.”

Experienced defender Kenneth Omeruo, Italy-based Ola Aina and Samuel Kalu all return after having to withdraw from the recent friendly against Brazil because of injury.

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, who was left out of the last two friendly matches, returns along with fit-again captain Ahmed Musa, who has been absent since the Nations Cup finals in Egypt.

European-based trio Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze and Alex Iwobi have also been included in the 23-man squad.

However there is no place for Kelechi Iheanacho, who has seen little game time in the Premier League this season at Leicester City, but was on the scoresheet as they beat third-tier Burton Albion in the League Cup.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland); Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo and Chidozie Awaziem (Leganes, Spain); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); William Troost-Ekong (Udinese, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia)

Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton, England); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada, Spain)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Lille, France); Moses Simon (Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain); Paul Onuachu (Genk, Belgium); Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux, France)

Standby: Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England)

This article was published by BBC Sport,
and written by
Oluwashina Okeleji .

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