Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro has named his 23-player squad for this month’s 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The list was unveiled in a statement released by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday.

The Italian Serie A duo of Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze are absent from the squad due to injury lay-off.

Osimhen suffered a knock in the Super Eagles’ 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia last month, and the 24-year-old has yet to return to action since.

Chukwueze’s injury was announced by AC Milan, his club, after he returned from the last international break. Wilfred Ndidi is also absent due to injury.

The latest list includes a new invitee, Nathan Tella, while Jamilu Collins returns to the squad alongside Maduka Okoye and Sadiq Umar.

Moses Simon, Victor Boniface, Ademola Lookman and Taiwo Awoniyi lead the team in attack, while Alex Iwobi and Joe Aribo also make the cut.

The Super Eagles will begin their quest to earn a place in the 2026 World Cup when they host Lesotho on 16 November before flying to Rwanda to play Zimbabwe at the Huye Stadium in Butare three days later.

Zimbabwe has adopted Rwanda as home turf for the qualifiers, as no stadium in the country was deemed fit to host the FIFA World Cup qualifying games.

The 2026 World Cup is billed to be jointly hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico. The tournament will be the largest edition of the World Cup, with 48 teams set to participate — an expansion from the previous 32 participants.

There will be nine automatic qualification slots for African countries, with one guaranteed a play-off route to the tournament.

Nigeria was drawn in Group C of the qualification round alongside South Africa, Benin, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.


Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho, Maduka Okoye, Olorunleke Ojo.

Defenders: Bright Samuel, Chidozie Awaziem, Ola Aina, Kenneth Omeruo, Bruno Onyemaechi, Semi Ajayi, Calvin Bassey, Jamilu Collins.

Midfielders: Raphael Onyedija, Joel Aribo, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi.

Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho, Sadiq Umar, Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman, Nathan Tella, Victor Boniface, Taiwo Awoniyi, Terem Moffi.

Source: Nigerian Agencies


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