Nigeria coach leaves Odemwingie out of Nations Cup squad

Osaze Odemwingie's hopes of playing in next month's Africa Cup of Nations appear to be all but over.

The West Brom striker has been left out of coach Stephen Keshi's provisional 32-man squad for the tournament.

But Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi is in line for a Nations Cup debut after being called up.

The Super Eagles coach has also recalled defender Danny Shittu and midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim.

Experienced campaigners Obafemi Martins, Taye Taiwo and Kalu Uche are all missing.

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It was tough leaving out some names

Stephen Keshi Nigeria coach

Former Nigeria captain Keshi will have to cut nine players from his selection by the 9 January deadline.

"It was tough leaving out some names but as a coach decisions are meant to be taken," Keshi told BBC Sport.

"The last phase [final selection] is to look at those who can give us the best in South Africa."

Keshi has retained majority of the foreign-based stars who helped secure qualification for South Africa 2013.

Defender and captain Joseph Yobo is set to play in his sixth consecutive Nations Cup finals.

Nigeria begin their Nations Cup campaign against Burkina Faso on 21 January and then face Zambia and Ethiopia in Group C.

Squad:

Goalkeepers : Vincent Enyeama (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be'er Sheba, Israel), Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers), Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland)

Defenders : Elderson Echiejile (FC Braga, Portugal), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel), Benjamin Francis (Heartland), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Efe Ambrose (Celtic, Scotland), Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Danny Shittu (Milwall, England), Kenneth Omeruo (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands), Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars)

Midfielders : John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio, Italy), Raheem Lawal (Adana Demirspor, Turkey), Obiora Nwankwo (Calcio Padova, Italy), Fegor Ogude (Valerenga FC, Norway), Reuben Gabriel (Kano Pillars), Rabiu Ibrahim (Celtic FC, Scotland)

Strikers : Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Victor Moses (Chelsea, England), Uche Kalu (Rizespor, Turkey), Bright Dike (Portland Timbers, USA), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England), Ikechukwu Uche (Villarreal FC, Spain), Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers), Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers)