FOOTBALL411.NET Picks Eagles Final AFCON Squad. Written by @iamlanreban

Using current form, experience and versatility, Football411.net goes ahead of coach Stephen Keshi to pick Nigeria final 23-man squad for the AFCON.

Keshi has said he will name his squad on Tuesday even though he is ÔÇ£growing grey hairsÔÇØ already while trying to do that.

We have therefore listed a final squad to help ÔÇÿThe Big BossÔÇÖ present the best for Nigeria in South Africa.
  

Goalkeepers

 
1 Vincent Enyeama
29 August 1982
Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel

Vincent Enyeama has been the Eagles number one goalkeeper since the 2002 World Cup and has been steady for Maccabi Tel Aviv since his second coming to Israel after playing for city rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv. He has great reflexes and good when it comes to one-on-one situation. His low light was when he went to join Lille in France to become a bench warmer, but has been in superb form since he retraced his steps back to Israel. Enyeama will be at his fifth AFCON in South Africa. 

2 Austin Ejide
8 April, 1984
Hapoel BeÔÇÖer Sheva, Israel

Former Bastia of France goalkeeper has remained consistent despite some injury problems and will push┬áEnyeama hard for the first choice jersey in the Eagles. A good penalty stopper, he is big, has good reflexes and very clam under pressure. He has been outstanding for Israeli side BeÔÇÖer Sheva. He is good at organising his defence and recently helped his team reach the final of this yearÔÇÖs Toto League Cup.

3 Chigozie Agbim
28 November, 1984
Enugu Rangers, Nigeria

Ex-Warri Wolves safest hands is the better of the two Nigeria Premier league goalkeeper considered for place in Eagles AFCON list. His agility is great and has good sense in organising the defence. His stocks rose after a man-of-the-match display against Catalonia. He is the captain of the home-based Eagles and will be in South Africa 2013 as third choice goalkeeper. 

 

Defenders 

4 Elderson Echiejile
20 January, 1988
FC Sporting Braga, Portugal

He is a mobile left back who loves to join the attack and easily recovers for his defensive job. He is tactically disciplined and a strong player. He has established himself in the Eagles under Coach Stephen Keshi and looks good to continue with that in South Africa. He is a good man-marker. The Braga defender is a no-nonsense defender who does not give up easily. Elderson delivers pin-point crosses from the left flank and has often popped from his defensive position to score some vital goals. 

5 Juwon Oshaniwa
14 September, 1990
Ashdod FC, Israel

He has been consistent at left back at Ashdod since he joined the Israeli club form Sharks in the summer. Juwon is strong when marking and good at going forward to join attack. He is good at marking and always goes forward to join attack. He is aggressive and does not forget his primary role is to defend the goal.

6 Joseph Yobo
6 September, 1980
Fenerbahce, Turkey

ÔÇÿCaptain FantasticÔÇÖ is the first choice in the Eagles central defence. He is reliable and has got his club career back on track with top Turkish club Fenerbahce after a difficult time in Everton two seasons ago. He is a steadying influence in the back four thanks to his vast experience. He has been capped a record 89 times after he started out with the countryÔÇÖs U20s as a striker. He is good aerially and helps himself to some crucial goals coming from his defensive position. He has said that at 32 this will be his last Nations Cup.┬á
 
7 Efe Ambrose
18 October, 1988
Celtic, Scotland

This Glasgow Celtic man is a solid defender who has proved himself with the Eagles after a tentative start. He has improved tremendously at Celtic since he moved from Israel in the summer. He has grown in stature both with club and country after posting some great displays in the UEFA Champions League as Celtic reached the Round of 16 contrary to most expectations. He is versatile and could play at right back and as a defensive midfielder, but would most likely be preferred to partner Yobo in the heart of the back four. 

8 Solomon Kwambe
30 September, 1993
Sunshine Stars, Nigeria

Former Plateau United right back is a rock in his position. He has proved his class in the first two games he has played for Eagles, against Niger in August and Venezuela in November even though he was subdued against Catalonia. For someone who is just starting out on his international career, he plays with a lot of confidence. He also loves to join attack with ease and has great recovery rate. He has a great future ahead of him.

9 Azubuike Egwuekwe
16 July, 1989
Warri Wolves, Nigeria

A man mountain central defender who is strong on the tackle and his all-action style has made him an ever-present in Stephen KeshiÔÇÖs first team. ┬áHe has partnered both Yobo and Oboabona in the middle of the Eagles defence. He is big, strong and reliable.┬á
  
10 Godfrey Oboabona 
16 August 1990
Sunshine Stars, Nigeria 

The Sunshine Stars skipper has been one of a handful of players from the NPL who have worked with Keshi since December 2011. He started out with the Eagles at right back, but he has since been moved to central defence where he has partnered Egwuekwe. His confidence and versatility have been his biggest assets.

11 Kenneth Omeruo
17 October 1993
ADO Den Haag, Netherlands

His versatility to play as central defender and right back earned him a first-ever call-up at full international level after he has represented the country at U17 and U20 levels. He did not look out of place against Catalonia last week when he came on as a substitute. He is young and a good tackler. His fighting spirit is remarkable. He is a late inclusion in the team and needs to convince the selectors for a bigger role. He has been wonderful for Ado Den Haag. He is a classy defender who is technically sound and has already established himself in the Dutch league on loan from English club Chelsea.

Midfielders

12 Mikel Obi
22 April, 1987
Chelsea, England

He has played in three AFCONs and going for his fourth tournament appearance. MikelÔÇÖs qualities as a midfielder will bring stability to Eagles engine room. He has good passing skills and his tackling has improved in the last couple of seasons at Chelsea. He has grown in maturity to now anchor Eagles midfield to glory in South Africa. Though not a goal getter, he is good at assists and thwarting opponentsÔÇÖ attacks. He is an important part of Chelsea team, same with the Eagles. His exposure will do Eagles a world of good.┬á

13 Nosa Igiebor
9 November, 1990
Real Betis, Spain

Igiebor is a skilful midfielder who can find his way through the tightest marking with his dribbles. He is a good passer. His long-range shooting ability is an added advantage as was aptly demonstrated with his wonder strike against Venezuela in November. He only needs to be less selfish and add some more purpose to his game. 

14 Raheem Lawal
4 May, 1990
Adana Demirspor, Turkey

He is a gifted midfielder who combines skills with power. Raheem is a good dribbler, marker and passer. He can combine well with anyone in the Eagles midfield. He has been an important player for Adana Demirspor since he joined them in the summer from third-tier Spanish club Atletico Beleares. The ex-36 Lions player looks set to plug the missing link in Eagles midfield with his creativity. Lawal shone during the 2011 Olympics qualifying tournament in Morocco. He has also been capped at U20 by Nigeria. 
 
15 Fegor Ogude
29 July, 1987
Valerenga FC, Norway

Valerenga of Norway midfielder was a big discovery under Samson Siasia and can play as a right back, defensive midfielder or even in attack. A career-threatening injury has cost him his place in the Eagles first team, but he has now regained full fitness. The strong midfielder uses his strength well to hold on to ball. He is a very purposeful player.

16 Gabriel Reuben
25 September, 1990
Kano Pillars, Nigeria

Highly-rated Nigeria Premier League star who is set to move to Europe sooner rather than later. He is a regular in the Eagles under Keshi until a long-term injury set him back. Gabriel is a good marker, passer and his vision for goal and long-range shooting is great. He reminds one of the great Patrick Vieira with his style of play. He is top quality who helped Kano Pillars to win the NPL championship last season for the second time in their history.

17 Ogenyi Onazi
25 December, 1992
SS Lazio, Italy

The youngster is a fighter. He never gives up and has vision to score and create goals. His battling performance against Catalonia last week has enhanced his claim to be on the final squad to South Africa. This season he broke into the star-studded Lazio main team. Onazi is skilful, strong and not sluggish. The former U17 star is also versatile as he could play as defensive or attacking midfielder. He has scored a goal and gave an assist in three games for the Eagles thus far.
  

Strikers

18 Ahmed Musa
14 October, 1992
CSKA Moscow, Russia

He is one of the shining lights of the present Super Eagles. His ability to play on both wings and as a top striker makes him the biggest attacking asset in the Eagles. His pace is second to none as he can outwit any player with his pace down the flanks. Musa is a good team player and could single handedly win a game with his individual brilliance. He is the rave of the moment in Russia, where he has become a household name following his exploits with CSKA Moscow. He scored two goals in the 2013 AFCON qualifiers. The former JUTH FC of Jos star is patriotic and committed to the Eagles cause.

19 Emmanuel Emenike
10 May, 1987
Spartak Moscow, Russia

The powerfully-built striker is the arrow head of top Russian club Spartak Moscow after his heroics in Turkey with Karabukspor, but he is yet to replicate his club form for the Eagles. Emenike will always be a threat to any opposing defence with his aggression and movement. He is strong and fast. He has scored vital goals for his various clubs as Nigerians await that for the Eagles. 

20 Brown Ideye
10 October, 1980
Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine

He knows his way to goal as he proved with French club Sochaux and so his qualities as a proven goal getter are not in doubt, but that has not been the case with the Eagles. He is a fast, strong and skilful striker who is capable of single-handedly wrecking a team. He showed what he is capable of in the recent friendly against Venezuela and now he has to remain consistent. He has been capped at U20 level and was a last-minute replacement for injured Mikel Obi for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. 

21 Victor Moses
12 December, 1990
Chelsea, England

Chelsea forward is a massive addition to the Eagles since he opted to play for Nigeria after he represented England at age-group levels. He has also been an instant success for Chelsea after he moved there from modest EPL side Wigan Athletic in the summer. He is fast and skilful. He has made himself an important member of Eagles since his debut against Rwanda in February. He scored two goals in the qualifiers to show that he has come to stay in Eagles. He is calm, intelligent and he creates goals for others. He is widely tipped as one of the stars to shine at the 2013 AFCON.

22 Bright Dike
2 February, 1987
Portland Timbers, USA

This MLS star is a surprise inclusion in the Eagles for AFCON after he was drafted in by Stephen Keshi after the Chelsea stars Mikel Obi and Victor Moses pulled out of the Venezuela game. The big forward made good use of the chance given to him and showed what he is capable of on his debut. He is big and strong. Despite been a big man forward, Bright is fast. He is a good fighter and has good positioning. Has a decent shot and he is a good team player.

23 Ikechukwu Uche
5 January, 1984
Villarreal, Spain

Eagles top scorer during AFCON qualifier with three goals is one of the committed players of this generation in the national team. He plays with all his heart when in the green and white shirt and scores vital goals for Nigeria. IK Uche is always business-minded and all he wants to do on the pitch is to score. He is an important player for Villarreal in the Spanish Segunda division. He is fast, strong and great shots in both legs. He is a dangerous and intelligent striker who knows what to do with the ball when in the opponentsÔÇÖ vital area. Thankfully, his injury problems are now very much behind him.

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