Nigeria coach Shuaibu Amodu has left out Portsmouth striker John Utaka from a squad that will fly out from Lagos to Malta on Sunday ahead of their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier against Tunisia.

Utaka, who returned to the national during last month's friendly against Ireland in London, is one of several players dropped from the squad.

The other players are Yusuf Ayila of Ukrainian champions Dynamo Kiev, Chidi Odiah of CSKA Moscow, Sone Aluko of Aberdeen as well as Bayelsa United's Chibuzo Okonkwo.

Odiah said he was unhappy by the manner in which he was dropped.

"I am not happy, not because I was told to go, but because I should have been informed of this decision a lot earlier," said the defender.

The Nigeria Football Federation have insisted that Amodu travels out with a squad of only 23 players, as opposed to all 30 players who trained with the team prior to the last qualifier against Kenya.

Nigeria tackle Tunisia at the November 7 Stadium in Rades, near Tunis, on 20 June as part of the regional qualifying series for the South Africa 2010.

The North Africans lead the standings with six points from two matches, two points ahead of closest rivals Nigeria.