Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr on Monday, May 13 released a 25-man provisional squad ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Before he cuts the squad to the final 23, Pulse Sports assess the 25 players called up to identify those who have a 100% chance of making the final list, those with a chance and those unlikely to miss out..
Players who have boarded the flight are the ones who without question will be on Rohr’s final list.
Bar any injury, the three goalkeepers in the provisional squad Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi are already seated in the plane waiting for take-off.
The trio was Super Eagles goalkeepers at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and they have been ever-present in the team.
Ola Aina was dropped from Super Eagles squad on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup but he is expected to be one of the full-backs in the team after a decent season with Torino in the Serie A. He also has the advantage of being able to play both the right and left full back positions.
Confirmed first-choice right back at AFCON 2019. Onboard.
Guaranteed a place in the final 23 especially after a fine half-season in Turkey with Rizespor.
One of the senior players in the team. Has not played much this season but that won't in any way affect his chances.
One of the oldest members of the team. Already in Egypt.
Made his debut last year and although he has not been convincing, is expected to be the first choice left back in Egypt.
John Mikel Obi
Has so much influence in the team that he can come and go anytime he wants. Has been away from the team for a year but he’s back and ready for another AFCON with the Super Eagles.
One of the best players in the team. Fully on board.
The engine room of the team. Will be crucial for the Super Eagles in Egypt.
Struggles to get in the starting XI but an essential member in the team.
Expected to be the assistant captain with the return of Mikel Obi.
Undisputed first-choice striker for the Super Eagles.
On board already.
The Nigerian breakout star of the season without question. Expected to be in the final squad after he was left out of the team for the FIFA U20 World Cup.
Checked in already
These are players very close to getting on the plane.
Missed the 2018 FIFA World Cup because of injuries which have troubled him in the last one year. He’s fit now and one of Rohr’s favourite.
Rohr has not shown to be a big fan of Onyekuru but he has been one of the best Nigerian players this season and very hard to ignore.
Recalled after he was dropped from the last Super Eagles squad but despite an underwhelming season with Leicester City, he’s a very popular figure in the squad and has enough influence to get into the final 23.
Has had the best season of his career and is very well liked by Rohr. Should get a spot in the final 23 as the Super Eagles second-choice No 9 behind Ighalo.
Made his debut in September 2018 and has impressed in all of his performances for the Super Eagles. His skill set will be needed on the wings in Egypt.
These are players whose only chance of making it to the final 23 are only in cases of an injury to other players. They have their flight booked.
Played as a defender on his Super Eagles debut and has made cameos in midfield. Rohr appreciates his versatility but the return of Mikel means there would be no spot for him in the final 23.
Difficult to see a spot for Onuachu in the final 23 despite being the highest scoring Nigerian this season. He has Ighalo and Osimhen ahead of him in the pecking order and we don’t see Rohr taking three similar strikers to Egypt.