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Predicting The Seven Players To Be Axed From Nigeria's Final World Cup Squad

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On Monday 14th May, Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr announced a preliminary World Cup roster of 30 players, a list of which only 23 would get on the plane to the Russia tournament.

Barring any last minute changes and injury-allowing, there are Eagles who are almost certain to make the final list — the likes of skipper, John Obi Mikel, Premier League stars Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi, Victor Moses as well as ones who are worth their weight in gold like Ogenyi Onazi, Shehu Abdullahi, Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong.

But then who are the wild cards? Here, we would try to pick out these ones that are most likely to miss out, judging by their importance to the team or how well they have performed for their clubs in the recently concluded season.

We start off in the goalkeeper department where there is a new entrant, CHAN Eagles goaltender, Dele Ajiboye.

Should Rohr decide to take his usual first choice three to the mundial, the Plateau United man could be the odd man out.
In defense, CHAN Eagles star, Stephen Eze who earned a transfer to Lokomotiv Plovdiv on the back of his decent showing has yet to debut since for the team.

The Russia tournament, simply put would come too soon. One more person to go in the rear and it would be between Hull City's Ola Aina, Ado Den Haag's Tyronne Ebuehi or Nantes's Chidozie Awaziem.

Aina has an upper hand from the other two having played enough of club football during the season to be in serious contention here. If Ebuehi does little to recover in time and convince the manager of his fitness, he could miss out.

Then in the middle of the park, for some reasons, Standard Liege's Uche Agbo continues to get call-ups to the national team without having to play.

It would be a long call for him to be rewarded with a place in this department where the jostle for positions is pretty tough. As for Bursaspor's Mikel Agu, the Super Eagles faithful would simply not have him near that team, and rightly so.

That leaves us with two more to cull out. Crotone's Simeon Nwankwo has done his own part in trying to gatecrash the Russia party. But has he really done enough to displace any of the more established attackers?

And talking about another new face, Kano Pillars's Junior Lokosa, the jury is still out on how Rohr would rate the leading NPFL marksman.

List of the seven players likely to be axed from Nigeria's World Cup final list :

1) Dele Ajiboye

2) Stephen Eze

3) Tyronne Ebuehi

4) Uche Agbo

5) Mikel Agu

6) Simeon Nwankwo

7) Junior Lokosa

Emmanuel Chinaza


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