Nigeria Recall Martins and more professional players for Ethiopia

Siasia is preparing for his first qualifying match in charge.

By Lolade Adewuyi

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia has handed a recall to Birmingham striker Obafemi Martins, a sign that he is impressed by the lad’s recent run of form in England.

Martins scored the winning goal in his team’s victory over English giants Arsenal in the Carling Cup final last month. He will now be expected to lead the front line for Nigeria in their must win AFCON qualifier against Ethiopia on March 27.

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Also returning to the team after prolonged absence due to injury is Zaragoza’s Ike Uche who has not featured for Nigeria since 2009. Acquiescing to pressure, Siasia recalled Uche who has shown glimpses of his old self since he returned to playing last month.

Nigeria's Obafemi Martins, right, celebrates with Victor Obinna
Nigeria's Obafemi Martins, right, with Victor Obinna

Everton’s Victor Anichebe will also be making a return to the team after missing out on the World Cup due to injury.

Siasia has also recalled players from the silver-winning Olympic team of 2008 that he coached. Defenders Olufemi Olubayo of Xanthi, Dele Adeleye of Metalurg Donesk and Aalesund striker Solomon Okoronkwo have been on the fringes of the senior team but will now be expected to become part of his future plans.

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Nigeria need to win this game against Ethiopia in order to maintain site of Group Four leaders Guinea.

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