Keshi Explains Why He Dropped Stoke Duo from Afcon Qualifiers

Coach Stephen Keshi says he has left out Stoke City pair Osaze Odemwingie and Victor Moses of Nigeria squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) group stage qualifiers, to allow him try out other players and because the latter has lost form.

Nigeria hosts Congo on September 6 and travel to Johannesburg to face South Africa four days later, as the Super Eagles start the defence of the Afcon title it won last year.

Keshi, 52, recalled Odemwingie, 32, for this summer’s World Cup after missing out for over two years.

Osaze Scored His First Goal for Nigeria on Return from a Two-Year Break Against Bosnia at the World Cup in Brazil in June.
Osaze Scored His First Goal for Nigeria on Return from a Two-Year Break Against Bosnia at the World Cup in Brazil in June.

“For Osaze Odemwingie, I left him out of the games to give other players a chance,” the coach said.


“I don’t know what is wrong, but watched Stoke’s game at the weekend and he was not in cation. I have not been able to speak with him, but I want to believe all is well.”

Moses, 23, recently joined forces with his countryman, Odemwingie, on Stoke-on-Trent on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

After missing last year’s Confederations Cup in Brazil- owing to injury- the ex-Crystal Palace and Wigan winger failed to make any impact at the World Cup, where the Super Eagles lost out in the second round.

Keshi told AfricanFootball.com on Moses: “I watched Victor Moses at Chelsea’s pre-season and he seemed to be struggling as he had limited play time with the club. Now that he has joined Srtoke City, I think he needs time to get back to the player we know him to be.”

Moses struggled to force his way up the pecking order on loan at Liverpool last season, starting just six Premier League games.

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