SCORECARD: How Super Eagles World Cup 30 Have Fared This Season

Ahead of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD presents the scorecards of the 30 Super Eagles players listed in the preliminary squad by Gernot Rohr…

GOALKEEPERS:

Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain)

Francis Uzoho is a surebet for the 2018 FIFA World Cup barring any last minute injury. The 19-year-old has been outstanding for Deportivo La Coruna’s Team B, Deportivo Fabril, who are in contention for a Segunda Division promotion. The Nigeria international has kept 15 clean sheets for RC Deportivo Fabril this season in 25 games. The 19 year old shot-stopper has conceded 17 goals so far this term for RC Deportivo Fabril who finished second in the Spanish third tier, the Segunda B division, in the regular season.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 25
Goals conceded: 17
Clean sheets: 15

Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC):

Ikechukwu Ezenwa’s recent injury worries, loss of form and experience at the big stage may have cost him the No.1 spot. The Enyimba of Aba goalkeeper did himself good grabbing his chance when Daniel Akpeyi sustained an injury in training prior to the World Cup qualifier against Cameroon in Uyo where he kept a clean sheet. He is expected to be the second choice goalkeeper at the Mundial.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 5
Goals conceded: 6
Clean sheets: 1

Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)

Nigeria’s most experienced goalkeeper in the squad is Daniel Akpeyi but a poor outing against South Africa last year has seen him drop down in the pecking order. He needs to regain the trust of the coaching crew if he is to reclaim his place, as Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Francis Uzoho are reportedly ahead of him.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 25
Goals conceded: 18
Clean sheets: 11

DEFENDERS:

Abdullahi Shehu (Anthorsis Famagusta/ Bursaspor FC, Turkey):

Shehu’s recent form for Turkish Super Lig side Bursaspor makes him the first choice at right-back considering the recent sidelining of Tyronne Ebuehi who was earlier tipped to displace him from the position.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 33
Assists: 2
Goals scored: 1

Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands)

Tyronne Ebuehi’s form has dipped and he has battled with injury in recent weeks and he must show more than zeal and vigour in to make the final 23 man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He failed to build on his impressive debut performance for the Super Eagles against Argentina in their 4-2 win over Argentina when he fumbled in the team’s 2-0 defeat to Serbia in London in March.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 28
Assists: 2
Goals scored: None

Ola Aina (Hull City, England)
Ola Aina will be a good squad addition to the Super Eagles at the World Cup due to his versatility. He is one of the few Nigeria players named in the provisional squad list to have played over 40 league games this season, having played the most games for his English Championship side Hull City. Aina can play comfortably as a full-back on either flank.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 46
Assists: 3
Goals scored: 1

Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium)

Elderson Echiejile got few games under his belt after he joined Belgian second division club Cercle Brugge KSV on loan in January. They gained promotion to the elite division. Despite being the most experienced defender in the current Super Eagles squad, Echiejile still has the youthful Ola Aina and Bryan Idowu to battle with for the left-back position.

2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 12
Assists: 1
Goals scored: None.

Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia)
Bryan Idowu boosted his chances of making the final cut for the 2018 World Cup in Russia by posting a decent shift for the Super Eagles in their friendlies against Poland and Serbia.

2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 30
Assist: Nil
Goals scored: 1

Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France)

Chidozie Awaziem struggled in his last game for Super Eagles in their 2-0 defeat to Serbia. The inclusion of Stephen Eze in the provisional squad will make his chances of making the final cut tougher.

2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 23
Assist: None
Goals scored: 1

William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey)

William Troost-Ekong is another sure bet for the World Cup in Russia barring injury. The centre-back has formed a formidable partnership with Leon Balogun in the heart of the Super Eagles defence. He has been consistent for club and country for the past 10 months.

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2017/18 stats
Total games played: 31
Assists: None
Goals scored: 2

scorecard-how-super-eagles-world-cup-30-have-fared-this-season SCORECARD: How Super Eagles World Cup 30 Have Fared This Season

 

Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany)

Leon Balogun’s season has been plagued with several injuries in the German Bundesliga with FSV Mainz, but what he brings to the team surpasses what the most of the other defenders can offer. The medical team will be at their best to ensure the 29-year-old regains full fitness before their high profile game against England on the 2nd of June.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 15
Assist: None
Goals scored: None

Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey):
Kenneth Omeruo is in a straight fight with Chidozie Awaziem and Stephen Eze for one of the two available spots as back-up for William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun who are the team’s first choice centre-back pairing. The Chelsea loanee has been consistent for Turkish club Kasimpasa but it remains to be seen if he will make the final squad.

2017/18 stat:
Total games played: 28
Assist: None
Goals scored: 1

Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)

Stephen Eze will be eager to impress if he does get his chance with the Super Eagles. He is yet to make his debut for the main Super Eagles squad after excelling with the home-based team at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in January. His height is a big advantage for him but he faces stiff competition from the experienced defenders in his position.

2017/18 stat
Total games played: 11
Assists: Nil
Goals scored: Nil

MIDFIELDERS

Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda, China)

Mikel Obi remains the brain box of the team, his influence and wealth of experience playing at the highest level with Chelsea before his move to China over a year ago will be looked upon for inspiration when the going gets tough in Russia.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 10
Assist: 2
Goals scored: 1

scorecard-how-super-eagles-world-cup-30-have-fared-this-season SCORECARD: How Super Eagles World Cup 30 Have Fared This Season

Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey)

Fit-again Ogenyi Onazi will be heavily relied upon to screen every danger from the midfield. The tireless midfielder is one of Gernot Rohr’s trusted men in midfield.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 23
Assists: 2
Goals scored: 3

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)

Wilfred Ndidi was one of the most consistent players for club and country in the last one year. But his hamstring injury could mean the 21 year old may struggle to reach his best level. The medical team of the Super Eagles have assured that the Leicester City midfielder will be ‘super fit’ for the World Cup but the biggest question is if he will be in form for the Super Eagles when he anchors in midfield.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 38
Assists: 4
Goals scored: 1

scorecard-how-super-eagles-world-cup-30-have-fared-this-season SCORECARD: How Super Eagles World Cup 30 Have Fared This Season

Oghenekaro Etebo (Feriense/Las Palmas, Spain)

Oghenekaro Etebo is another player battling to be fully fit for the World Cup after a muscle strain made him miss Las Palmas’ last two games. The midfielder has been immense for Las Palmas who suffered relegation at the end of the season.

2017/18 stat
Total games played: 29
Assists: 3
Goals scored: 4

John Ogu (Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Israel)

The 29-year-old John Ogu will be brimming in confidence when he reports at the Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo on Monday, 21st May in preparation for the 2018 World Cup. Ogu is the only player in the provisional squad to have won a league title this season. Having missed out on the provisional squad to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Ogu will give it everything to make it to Russia.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 31
Assists: None
Goals scored: 2

Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium)

Uche Agbo has been a top performer for his Belgian club Standard Liege but that seems not to have swayed Gernot Rohr in any way to hand him a debut for the past one year. The final preparatory games for the World Cup will offer him an outside chance of nicking a place in the final 23-man squad to Russia.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 39
Assists: 3
Goals scored: 1

Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)
If Joel Obi can overcome his injury worries in training it will be difficult to drop him for either of John Ogu, Oghenekaro Etebo, Mikel Agu and Uche Agbo in a midfield department where the Super Eagles are spoilt for choice. Aside from Mikel Obi, Joel Obi is the most experienced Nigerian midfielder around and he plays in one of the top leagues in Europe.

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2017/18 stats
Total games played: 25
Assists: 2
Goals scored: 6

Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey)
Gernot Rohr has so much faith in Mikel Agu, a reason why he has always been called up unless injured. He did not finish the season on a good note as he lost his place at Bursaspor and it remains to be seen if he will make the final squad.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 23
Assists: 2
Goals scored: 3

FORWARDS

Ahmed Musa (Leicester City/CSKA Moscow, Russia)

Ahmed Musa rediscovered his goal scoring form byplaying regularly for CSKA Moscow whom he joined on a six-month loan deal from Leicester City in January. With his confidence back, a couple of decent performances will earn him another World Cup appearance in Russia.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 23
Assists: 6
Goals scored: 9

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)

Iheanacho gained momentum with Leicester City towards the end of the English Premier League season, scoring two goals in his last two games he started out as a striker. Ihenacho remains the national team’s most prolific player in the past one year, scoring four goals in seven games for the Super Eagles, though he was a shadow of himself playing in the John Mikel Obi role in Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Poland in Wroclaw in March.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 30
Assists: 4
Goals scored: 9

scorecard-how-super-eagles-world-cup-30-have-fared-this-season SCORECARD: How Super Eagles World Cup 30 Have Fared This Season

Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium)

Simon made a return from a knee ligament injury that kept him out of action for two months last Sunday in Gent’s 3-2 loss to KV Oostende. Simon, a tricky winger, was also instrumental in Nigeria 2018 World Cup qualification. He provides width and pace on the flanks for the team.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 23
Assist: 2
Goals scored: 5

Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England)

Victor Moses is arguably one of the biggest names in Gernot Rohr’s 30 man squad; he has been impressive playing as a wing-back for Chelsea for the past two seasons. Moses played crucial roles as the three-time African champions qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup without losing a game. He remains a catalyst in the Eagles attack in Russia.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 36
Assists: 4
Goals scored: 4

scorecard-how-super-eagles-world-cup-30-have-fared-this-season SCORECARD: How Super Eagles World Cup 30 Have Fared This Season

Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China)

Apart from Odion Ighalo, the Super Eagles do not have lacked a centre forward that could get goals consistently. Despite firing blanks in his last game with Changchun Yatai, the former Watford striker has scored seven goals in 10 league appearances in the Chinese Super League this season.

2018 stats
Total games played: 10
Assists: None
Goals scored: 7

Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England)

Iwobi remains a great hope for Nigeria if he rediscovers the form that shot him to prominence. The 22-year-old has blown hot and cold in games for Arsenal this season to suggest that he can be the missing playmaker the Super Eagles craves for in Russia.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 39
Assists: 7
Goals scored: 3

Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone FC, Italy)

Despite being highly rated in the Italian Serie A with Crotone, Simy Nwankwo remains a dark horse in this list and will have to do the extra ordinary to make it to Russia despite scoring seven times this season for Crotone who need a win to avoid relegation.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 23
Assists: 1
Goals scored: 7

scorecard-how-super-eagles-world-cup-30-have-fared-this-season SCORECARD: How Super Eagles World Cup 30 Have Fared This Season

Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars)

Junior Lokosa’s inclusion in the provisional squad list for the World Cup was greeted with mixed feelings. The Nigerian Professional Football League top scorer must continue his form with the Eagles to stand a chance of making the final squad. He must also show his readiness when he gets his chance.

2017/18 stats
Total games played: 21
Assists: 3
Goals scored: 18

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