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Nigeria name Mikel in World Cup squad

May 11, 2010 19:58 IST

Injured Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel was named on Monday in Nigeria's preliminary 30-man squad for the World Cup.

A knee injury kept the 23-year-old out of the London club's last three games in the title run-in but Nigeria Lars Lagerback is banking on his return to fitness for the tournament in South Africa starting next month.

The squad also marked a return for Everton forward Victor Anichebe, who had spent almost a year sidelined through injury, and John Utaka of FA Cup finalists Portsmouth.

The surprise omission was defensive midfielder Seyi Olofinjana of Hull City.

Nigeria play in Group B at the tournament against Argentina, Greece and South Korea.

Preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv/ISR), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda/ISR), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Petah Tikva/ISR), Bassey Akpan (Bayelsa United)

Defenders: Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille/FRA), Elderson Echiejile (Rennes/FRA), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Onyekachi Apam (OG Nice/FRA), Joseph Yobo (Everton/ENG), Daniel Shittu (Bolton Wanderers/ENG), Ayodele Adeleye (Sparta Rotterdam/NED), Rabiu Afolabi (SV Salzburg/AUS) and Terna Suswan (Lobi Stars)

Midfielders: Kalu Uche (Almeria/SPA), Dickson Etuhu (Fulham/ENG), Mikel Obi (Chelsea/ENG), Sani Kaita (Alaniya/RUS), Haruna Lukman (AS Monaco/FRA), Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev/UKR)

Strikers: Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Victor Anichebe (Everton/ENG), Chinedu Obasi (TSG Hoffenheim/GER), Nwankwo Kanu, John Utaka (Portsmouth/ENG), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg/GER), Brown Ideye (FC Sochaux/FRA), Peter Utaka (Odense Boldklub/DEN), Ikechukwu Uche (Real Zaragoza/SPA), Obinna Nsofor (Malaga/SPA), Osaze Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS)

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