2018 World Cup: Watford's Isaac Success to miss Nigeria qualifier

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Nigeria and Watford's Isaac Success
Watford forward Isaac Success has played for Nigeria at under-17, under-20 and under-23 levels

Watford's Isaac Success will not make his Nigeria debut in their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia after picking up an injury.

The 20-year-old had been named in the Nigeria squad for the first time, having played at youth level and helped to win the 2013 Under-17 World Cup.

Chelsea winger Victor Moses (hamstring) and Mainz defender Leon Balogun (muscular injury) are also out.

Godwin Obaje, Chisom Egbuchulam and Uche Henry Agbo are their replacements.

Success appeared to be in line to make his Super Eagles debut, particularly after he came off the bench to score for Watford and earn them a draw against Bournemouth on Saturday.

But Nigeria Football Federation spokesman Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport: "We received a letter from Chelsea concerning Moses and striker Isaac Success has a knock and finding it difficult to walk.

"Locally-based stars Godwin Obaje and Chisom Egbuchulam will replace the premier league duo, while Uche Agbo has since filled the void created by Balogun's absence."

Egbuchulam's 15 goals, including a hat-trick on the final day of the season on Sunday, led Enugu Rangers to their seventh Nigerian league title - their first in 32 years.

Wikki Tourists in-form striker Obaje finished as top scorer with 18 goals to steer his club to a third place finish and a spot in next year's Caf Confederation Cup.

Odion Ighalo has been left out to attend the burial of his father a day before the match.

But John Mikel Obi is also on the 23-man list despite not playing for Chelsea yet this season. Obi captained Nigeria at the Olympics in Brazil and led them to a bronze medal but has not featured for new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte since his return.

Coach Gernot Rohr has largely kept faith with the side that earned a 1-0 win over Tanzania in a dead-rubber 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in early September.

But there are recalls for Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi, Chelsea loanee Kenneth Omeruo and Belgium-based midfielder Anderson Esiti, who all missed Rohr's first game in charge of the Super Eagles.

Injured Moses Simon is listed after assuring Rohr that he would be fully fit before the game.

Nigeria are in Group B, with Cameroon and Algeria - who have both been at the past two World Cup finals - alongside 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winners Zambia.

There are five groups of four teams with only the winners of each group making it to the tournament in Russia.

Nigeria have missed out on the last Nations Cups but have appeared at the last two World Cups in South Africa and Brazil, reaching the last 16 in 2014.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah)

Defenders: Uche Agbo (Granada - on loan from Watford, Spain); William Troost-Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (Standard Liege, Belgium), Kingsley Madu (SV Zulte Waregem, Belgium)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel), Anderson Esiti (KAA Gent, Belgium)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos FC, Greece); Godwin Obaje (Wikki Tourists); Chisom Egbuchulam (Enugu Rangers)

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