2014 World Cup: Fit-again Omeruo gets Nigeria recall

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Nigeria's Kenneth Omeruo

Nigeria have included fit-again Chelsea under-21 defender Kenneth Omeruo in a 25-man squad to face Ethiopia in this month's 2014 World Cup play-off.

Omeruo played all six games for the Super Eagles as they won the Africa Cup of Nations in January but then sustained a shoulder injury at June's Confederations Cup in Brazil.

He made a first appearance this season for the Chelsea under-21's on Friday.external-link

Nigeria play Ethiopia on 16 November in the second leg of their 2014 qualifier.

They hold a 2-1 lead from the first leg as they aim to secure a fifth World Cup appearance.

Two days later, the African champions will play Italy in a friendly at Fulham's Craven Cottage stadium in London.

Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama returns as stand-in skipper, while Scotland-based Rueben Gabriel has been handed a recall.

"It's good for us that we can recall Kenneth Omeruo and Rueben Gabriel for this crucial game and big friendly against Italy," Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi told BBC Sport.

"The game against Ethiopia is very important for the country and the players are all aware of what stands before them and a place in Brazil.

"We need to prepare very hard tactically and technically so we can make the country and our fans proud.

"It's very appropriate to describe the game in Calabar as our biggest cup final because the one in South Africa is now in the past."

Home-based players Chigozie Agbim, Francis Benjamin, Solomon Kwambe, Azubuike Egwuekwe and Sunday Mba are all recalled.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) hope the match against Italy on 18 November will be preparation for next year's tournament in Brazil.

The match, which will kick-off at 1945 BST, will be Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi's first friendly against European opposition since he took charge of the side in November 2011.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers)

Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Francis Benjamin (Heartland); Efe Ambrose (Celtic, Scotland); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); James Okwuosa (Chippa United, South Africa), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea, England)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Victor Moses (Liverpool, England); Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Nnamdi Oduamadi (Brescia, Italy), Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock, Scotland)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (SC Heerenveen, Netherlands)

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