Chukwueze, Nwabali in Eagles camp; Osimhen expected

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AC Milan winger Samuel Chukwueze and Chippa United’s goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali have officially joined the Super Eagles camp in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in preparation for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, as reported by The PUNCH.

The addition of Chukwueze and Nwabali brings the total number of players in camp to 19. The Eagles, currently in Abu Dhabi for a one-week training camp until the next Tuesday, are expected to fly to Lagos on the same day and then proceed to Abidjan on Wednesday, January 10.

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The team’s media officer, Babafemi Raji, shared that preparations for the AFCON tournament, scheduled to take place from January 13 to February 11, began on Wednesday evening.

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Raji mentioned, “Training will commence this evening (Wednesday). Please note that we are currently in a closed camp and information will be limited till January 6. Bear with us as we intensify preparations in our bid to have a continent-conquering AFCON campaign.”

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Among the players still expected to join the camp are William Troost-Ekong, Victor Osimhen, Francis Uzoho, Umar Sadiq, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Alhassan Yusuf.

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The current squad in Abu Dhabi includes goalkeepers Olorunleke Ojo and Stanley Nwabali, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Calvin Bassey, Semi Ajayi, Zaidu Sanusi, Bruno Onyemachi, Chidozie Awaziem, Ola Aina, and Bright Osayi-Samuel.

The midfielders present are Alex Iwobi, Frank Onyeka, Raphael Onyedika, and Joe Aribo, while the forwards consist of Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman, Samuel Chukwueze, and Victor Boniface.

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The Eagles are slated to play two pre-tournament friendlies against Burkina Faso and Cape Verde in preparation for the 2023 AFCON. Nigeria, having won the AFCON in 1980, 1994, and 2013, aims for a fourth title in Ivory Coast and is placed in Group A alongside the hosts, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea Bissau. Their first match is against Equatorial Guinea on January 14 at the Ebimpe Olympic Stadium, followed by matches against Ivory Coast on January 18 and Guinea Bissau on January 22.

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