Seychelles vs Nigeria XI: Onazi returns as Etebo misses out

Seychelles vs Nigeria XI: Onazi returns as Etebo misses out

Stoke City midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo has been dropped from the starting lineup ahead of today’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles. The midfielder makes way for vice-captain Ogenyi Onazi who was unused throughout the World Cup in Russia.

However, Al Nassr FC of Saudi Arabia forward Ahmed Musa has been named as the team captain in Onazi’s stead with Girondins Bordeaux star Samuel Kalu in line to make his debut.

www.aclsports.com scoops that Musa will lead the team and will play in a left-wing position in order to accommodate the duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Odion Ighalo upfront for the Super Eagles. It is the first time Musa will be leading the side since March 2016 when former coach Samson Siasia stripped him of captaincy in favour of current captain John Mikel Obi.

The defensive department of the Super Eagles will have players that just changed clubs in Europe. Elche goalkeeper Francis Uzoho will continue in goal while Brighton and Hove Albion star Leon Balogun will partner with Kenneth Omeruo at the heart of the defence – in the absence of his Oyibo Wall partner, William Ekong.

Team’s head coach Gernot Rohr has had to make crucial decisions in the full back positions after injury ruled out the trio of Abdullahi Shehu, Tyronne Ebuehi and more recently, Ola Aina. The coach has decided to switch Chidozie Awaziem to the right back position after new call up Jamilu Collins picked up a knock in training on Friday. Brian Idwou will continue at his left back position.

Onazi has earned a recall to the starting lineup after his fine start to the season at his Turkish club Trabzonspor. The former Lazio star was axed from the team after the friendly loss to England but will partner Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi against Seychelles.

Former Gent winger, Kalu will make his debut from the right wing position. He is the only new player in the starting lineup.

The match kicks off at 1:30pm Nigerian time.

Nigeria lineup:

Uzoho; Awaziem, Balogun, Omeruo, Idowu; Ndidi, Onazi; Kalu, Iheanacho, Musa; Ighalo

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