AFCON 2019: Who has boarded the Super Eagles plane to Egypt, who has checked in and who has booked his flight

A look into the Super Eagles provisional squad to see who will make it to the final 23 and those who have only a slim chance.

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 down to the final 23, Pulse Sports assess the 25 players called up in the provisional to identify those who have a 100% chance of making the final list, those with a chance and those unlikely to miss out..

On Board the flight already

Players who have boarded the flight are the ones who without question will be on Rohr’s final list.

Goalkeepers

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 have been ever-present in the team. 

Defenders

Ola Aina

Was cut off 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. 

Shehu Abdullahi

Confirmed first-choice right back at AFCON 2019. Onboard.

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Chidozie Awaziem

Guaranteed a place in the final 23 especially after a fine half-season in Turkey with Rizespor. 

William Troost-Ekong

No question.

Leon Balogun

One of the senior players in the team. Has not played much this season but that’s not in any way affect his chances. 

Kenneth Omeruo 

One of the oldest members of the team. Already in Egypt. 

Jamilu Collins 

Made his debut last year and although he has not yet been convincing, is expected to be the first choice at left back in Egypt. 

Mikel Obi is back in the squad while the likes of John Ogu, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong and Alex Iwobi are certain of a place in the final 23

Midfielders

John Mikel Obi

Mikel Obi is back in the team after a one-year absence

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. 

Wilfred Ndidi

One of the best players in the team. Fully on board. 

Oghenekaro Etebo 

The engine room of the team. Will be crucial for the Super Eagles in Egypt. 

John Ogu

Struggles to get in the starting XI but an essential cog in the team. 

Forwards 

Ahmed Musa 

Expected to be the assistant captain with the return of Mikel Obi.

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Odion Ighalo

Undisputed first-choice striker for the Super Eagles. 

Alex Iwobi

On board already. 

Samuel Chukwueze 

Samuel Chukwueze is set to make his AFCON debut for the Super Eagles of Nigeria

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.

Moses Simon

Missed the 2018 FIFA World Cup because of injuries who has troubled him in the last one year. He’s fit now and one of Rohr’s favourite. 

Henry Onyekuru 

Henry Onyekuru has a chance of making it to the final 23 (Twitter/OgaNlaMedia)

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. 

Kelechi Iheanacho

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 within the squad and has enough influence to get into the final 23. 

Victor Osimhen 

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. 

Samuel Kalu

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. 

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Flight booked

These are players whose only chance of making it to the final 23 are only in cases of event injury to other players. They have their flight booked and ready to come on board.

Semi Ajayi 

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. 

Paul Onuachu 

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. 

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