Nigeria's John Obi Mikel out as Gernot Rohr names 23-man squad for Libya 2019 AFCON qualifiers


After a surprise 2-0 defeat to Bafana Bafana in their opening Group E fixture, the three-time African champions got back to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Seychelles last month.

Currently in third place, behind South Africa and leaders Libya by a single point, the latest squad selection provides coach Gernot Rohr with a real boost of confidence - even without influential captain Mikel.

The former Chelsea midfielder has been given leave of absence to 'recover from injury' despite initial suggestions that his time with the Super Eagles may be coming to an abrupt end.

"We expect him to be available for the November game against South Africa."

Rohr has made three changes from the Super Eagles squad that took on Seychelles last month with the omission of on-loan Arsenal youngster Kelechi Nwakali, and Italy-based duo Simeon Nwankwo and Joel Obi.

Isaac Success has been rewarded for his impressive form with Watford and fit-again Levante forward Moses Simon and Bursaspor defender Shehu Abdullahi also earned recalls.

The squad is boosted by the return of Arsenal's Alex Iwobi, defender William Troost-Ekong and Chelsea-owned starlet Ola Aina after the trio pulled out of September's fixture due to injury.

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Elche FC/Spain), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba, Nigeria), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United/South Africa)

Defenders: Ola Aina (Torino FC/Italy), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC/Turkey), Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United/England), Brian Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow/Russia), Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto/Portugal), William Ekong (Udinese FC/Italy), Leon Balogun (Brighton and Hove Albion/England), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes/Spain), Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07/Germany)

Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC/Turkey), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City/England), Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC/England), John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva/Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr FC/Saudi Arabia), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City/England), Moses Simon (Levante FC/Spain), Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK/Turkey), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai/China), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal/England), Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux/France), Isaac Success (Watford/England)