Nigeria welcome Italy-based midfielder Chris Obodo back to their squad this weekend when they host South Africa in their opening 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier in Abuja.

It also marks a return to the helm of the team for coach Shaibu Amodu, whose side warm-up against Austria in Graz on Tuesday before their home encounter with the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts on Sunday.

Obodo, a defensive midfielder who plays for Udinese, had to sit out the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana earlier this year because of injury.

Amodu has picked most of the squad from the tournament, where Nigeria were knocked out in the quarter-finals, leading to the departure of their German coach Berti Vogts.

There is also a chance for a first full cap for teenage Everton striker Victor Anichebe, who has previously appeared for the U-23 side in qualifying competition for the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda, Israel), Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Greg Etafia (Moroka Swallows, South Africa)

Defenders: Onyekachi Apam (Nice, France), Elderson Echiejile (Stade Rennes, France), Yusuf Mohamed (Al Hilal, Sudan), Obinna Nwaneri (FC Sion, Switzerland), Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille, France), Joseph Yobo (Everton, England)

Midfielders: Uche Kalu (Almeria, Spain), Haruna Lukman (Monaco, France), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea, England), Chris Obodo (Udinese, Italy), Ike Uche (Getafe, Spain), John Utaka (Portsmouth, England),

Strikers: Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Victor Anichebe (both Everton, England), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth, England), Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona, Italy), Kayode Odejayi (Barnsley, England), Peter Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia), Emmanuel Okoduwa (Germinal Beerschot, Belgium)