Eagles ready for Lions in London


A full house is expected at the Super Eagles Hotel Crowne Plaza Ealing camp in London by Wednesday following the arrival of 17 of the 25 players invited for two friendlies on Thursday and next Monday.

Earliest arrivals were FC Porto of Portugal’s Chidozie Awaziem, England-based Ahmed Musa, Carl Ikeme, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi and Isaac Success, Moses Simon, from Belgium; Ogenyi Onazi from Turkey and Germany-based newcomer Noah Joel Bazee and also Abdullahi Shehu from Cyprus.

The others who were in by Monday are Leon Balogun, William Ekong, Tyronne Ebuehi, John Ogu, Kelechi Iheanacho, Kenneth Omeruo and Victor Moses.

Moses has been excused from the camp after showing a report from the Chelsea medical team that stated he was being treated for injury.

On Tuesday, Austria-based former junior international forward Olanrewaju Kayode, called up in place of injured Victor Osimhen, arrived, and was later joined by Sporting Gijon of Spain’s Elderson Echiejile.

On Tuesday the players spent time welcoming Bazee who is with the Eagles for the very first time.

Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, the only player coming from Nigeria, Oghenekaro Etebo (Portugal) and Musa Muhammed (Bosnia Herzegovina) are expected on Wednesday (all delayed as a result of visa), while goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi (South Africa) can only arrive on Thursday as a public holiday in South Africa meant he could not collect his visa earlier. Kingsley Madu (Belgium) and Uche Agbo (Spain) were also delayed by visa.

With Moses, only 24 players will now prosecute both matches.

Nigeria take on Senegal at The Hive, home ground of Barnet Football Club on Thursday, by 8pm, and will be up against Burkina Faso at the same venue and time on Monday, 27th March.

The Nigeria Football Federation fixed both matches as preparation for the Eagles for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series starting in June, as well as the remaining matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying race.

Nigeria perch at the top of Group B of the African race for Russia 2018, with the maximum six points from two matches, while next opponents Cameroon, who visit Nigeria late August and then host the Eagles six days later, are in second place but four points adrift. Algeria and Zambia are the other teams in the group.