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Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Nigeria wait on Martins fitness

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Nigeria's Super Eagles
Nigeria names a 24 man squad ahead of the Nations Cup

Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu is waiting on the fitness of several players before naming his final 23 man squad for next month's Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

But has pruned down his preliminary list of 32 players to 24.

Amodu says one more player will be dropped from the team when he announces his final list.

Obafemi Martins, Joseph Yobo, Danny Shittu and Yusuf Mohammed are all returning from long-term injuries.

Martins, Yobo and Mohammed have only just resumed training this week.

The deadline for countries to submit their final 23-man squad is January 1.

Portsmouth striker Nwankwo Kanu is set to make his sixth appearance at the biennial tournament.

Kalu Uche, Elderson Echiejile, Michael Eneramo, Yusuf Mohammed and Chinedu Obasi will be making their first appearance at the competition.

As expected, there are no locally based players in the squad that also includes Bolton Wanderers defender Danny Shittu.

All three goalkeepers who represented the country at the last edition in Ghana are retained.

The Super Eagles begin their Group C campaign against defending champions Egypt on 12 January before taking on Benin and then Mozambique.

Nigeria's list of 24:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel) Bamidele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda, Israel) Austin Ejide (unattached)

Defenders: Joseph Yobo (Everton, England), Danny Shittu (Bolton, England) , Obinna Nwaneri and Yusuf Mohammed (both FC Sion, Switzerland) Taye Taiwo (Marseille, France) Elderson Echiejile (Rennes, France), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Onyekachi Apam (Nice, France).

Midfielders: Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth, England), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England), Dickson Etuhu (Fulham, England) Sani Kaita (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia) Yusuf Atanda Ayila (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Oluwaseyi George Olofinjana (Hull City, England), Kalu Uche (Almeria, Spain).

Strikers: Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton, England), Osaze Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia), Michael Eneramo (Esperance, Tunisia), Obinna Nsofor (Malaga, Spain), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg, Germany), Chinedu Obasi (Hoffenheim, Germany).



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see also
Super expectations for Nigeria
03 Dec 09 |  African
Nigeria seek Everton help
22 Dec 09 |  African
Nigeria plan to avert pay dispute
15 Dec 09 |  African


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