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Nigeria’s Mikel to miss Cup of Nations qualifier

Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel to miss AFCON Qualifier clash

ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug 24 –  Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel will miss his side’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Seychelles next month, but coach Gernot Rohr still named 16 World Cup players in his squad on Friday.

Chelsea star Victor Moses retired from international football after the Super Eagles’ group-stage elimination from the World Cup in Russia, although Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi and Leicester pair Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho are available.

Nigeria will visit the Seychelles on September 7, looking to bounce back from their opening Group E defeat by South Africa.

Seychelles were thrashed 5-1 by Libya in their first game.

Former Chelsea midfielder Mikel, who now plays for Tianjin TEDA in China, has been excused from the team after only recently recovering from injury, but strikers Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa are in the squad.

Galatasaray forward Henry Onyekuru and Ola Aina have been recalled, while Kelechi Nwakali, new Bordeaux signing Samuel Kalu and Jamilu Collins are fresh call-ups.

Both Onyekuru and Aina, who is on loan at Torino from Chelsea, did not make the squad for the World Cup, where Nigeria were knocked out by a dramatic 2-1 loss to Argentina.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna/ESP), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United/RSA), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba)

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Defenders: William Troost-Ekong (Udinese/ITA), Leon Balogun (Brighton/ENG), Jamiu Collins (SC Paderborn/GER), Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto/POR), Ola Aina (Torino/ITA), Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United/ENG), Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes/ESP)

Midfielders: John Ogu (Hapoel Beer Sheva/ISR), Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke/ENG), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor/TUR), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester/ENG), Joel Obi (Chievo/ITA), Kelechi Nwakali (FC Porto/POR)

Forwards: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal/ENG), Ahmed Musa (Al-Nassr/KSA), Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux/FRA), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester/ENG), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai/CHN), Henry Onyekuru (Galatasary/TUR), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone/ITA)

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